Workers already suffering from the deadly asbestos-related lung cancers get a kick in the teeth from the new government.
Before the last election the Labour party had pledged to find funding for a £10million research centre into asbestos-related diseases. Unfortunately, according to the Mirror newspaper, the Conservatives and LibDems are now refusing to commit to the project, which could help save hundreds of lives. They have been accused of dodging the issue by refusing to acknowledge Labour’s previous commitment for the funding. The Tory Health minister was reported as saying that “Future expenditure on research in asbestos-related diseases will be determined by the success of bids for funding”. This means that vital research and help for mesothelioma sufferers right now will no longer be a possibility.
The chief of the construction union UCATT, Alan Ritchie added that he was unsurprised because “the fact suffers are mostly working class means they are not a priority”. Union chiefs have been urging for larger payouts for victims of mesothelioma, and other asbestos related diseases, and say that they have been excluded from talks that were meant to speed up compensation payments to victims and their families. Research into asbestos-related lung disease is already underfunded by the government compared to other similar diseases, and because it’s currently a terminal illness, there’s an urgent need for greater medical attention and information for the victims and their families. The number of deaths from mesothelioma, or other lung cancers, caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust particles is expected to peak in the next 5 years. This is because most workers were unwittingly exposed during anytime between the 1930s and 1970s and it can take 20-50 years for the first symptoms to appear and therefore a long time for the disease to be diagnosed.
The National Cancer Research Institute has been given the task of reviewing the extent of current research into mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, with the report due this Autumn. The results will hopefully pinpoint the sheer amount of extra funding required to develop better treatments, if not a cure, for the deadly, lung disease.
If you’d like to find out more information about your legal position when claiming compensation for asbestos related diseases, call us for a chat on 0808 129 3320.