Health and Social Care Committee

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The proposed Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill is "not necessary" according to Nick Starling from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

He was giving evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee on 16 January 2013.

The meeting was an opportunity for insurance company representatives and lawyers to give evidence on the bill introduced by Labour AM Mick Antoniw on 5 December 2012.

The new law would force businesses and insurers to foot NHS medical bills for asbestos victims.

Dominic Clayden, UK & Ireland claims director, Aviva and Faye Glasspool, director UK Legacy, RSA of ABI gave evidence alongside Mr Starling.

Mr Starling said that he did not see a need for the bill, saying "we're currently taking forward, with the UK government, a package to help asbestos sufferers.

"We think it likely that the bill would place a significant administrative burden on health bodies."

Their written evidence claimed that the provision to allow the NHS to recover their costs for treating asbestos-related diseases is "not practical or proportionate."

It also stated that "the costs and administrative burdens borne by health bodies to recover asbestos-related disease charges incurred by the NHS are likely to outweigh the estimated £2m per annum of benefits".

Michael Imperato from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers didn't think that the bill would have a significant impact on the workload of claimant lawyers.

He said he did not expect the change to have a great impact on the practitioner.

Mr Imperato favourably compared the bill to a similar bill that was passed concerning road traffic accidents, saying the changes brought in had not disrupted his work.

Questions were also raised on the assembly's competence to legislate in this field.

Dominic Clayden, representing the API, said that "health does [fall within the assembly's competence] but revenue raising does not."

Simon Cradick, partner at Morgan Cole LLP representing the Forum of Insurance Litigators and Simon Jones head of policy at Marie Curie Cancer Care also gave evidence to the committee.

Mr Cradick mentioned the that the UK parliament rejected similar proposals when considering changes to road traffic accident legislature but decided against retrospective industrial disease claims on the grounds that they would be "impractical to incorporate".

Simon Jones said that Marie Curie is "very supportive of this bill".

The English translation for the first part of this committee is not available due to a technical fault

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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