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Welsh law bid for asbestos medical bills

5th December 2012

Members of the Welsh Assembly are to consider legislation to help asbestos victims.

lungsxray

A bill is being introduced by Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw, which could see businesses and insurers having to pay medical bills for victims.

The former solicitor, representing patients with asbestos-related diseases, wants the Welsh government to have the power to recover an estimated £2m a year spent treating asbestos patients.

Mr Antoniw said: “This Bill recognises the tragic legacy and impact of asbestos disease on many Welsh workers and families and recognises the considerable cost to the NHS in Wales, of treating the disease.”

He said the legislation would enable the government to recover the cost of the medical treatment in cases where legal liability for the disease has been established.

The aim, added Mr Antoniw, would be to use recovered funds to be used to offer additional support to those who suffered the effects of asbestos and their families.

Asbestos is acknowledged as a threat to health and since 1999 has been banned in the UK.
One of the major problems is that it can be many years before the impact of asbestos become apparent on victims.

Among them is Ron Wyde, now 72 and a former builder from the Vale of Glamorgan.

He worked with asbestos sheeting in his work across south Wales and in Europe but it was only recently discovered that his lung problems were related to asbestos.

It is estimated that 4,500 people die every year in the UK from asbestos-related diseases.

 

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