A company that pays people for donating blood is about to open its first Saskatchewan clinic.

Canadian Plasma Resources earlier tried to set up clinics in Toronto and Hamilton but the Ontario government moved to ban payment for blood, saying it would erode Canada’s voluntary blood collection system.

However, the Saskatchewan government is welcoming the company’s plan to open a clinic in the province. But the Opposition NDP says there should be public discussion on the practice of paying for blood donations.

Saskatchewan would become the only Canadian province with a plasma collection system of major commercial magnitude. Donors would receive a $25 gift card for each visit. The plasma would be sold to American companies for further processing and sale to hospitals and drug manufacturers.

Eighty per cent of plasma used in Canada comes from paid donors in the United States and Europe. The Saskatchewan government says it would be hypocritical to ban paid donations here.

The first private donation centre for plasma will be established in Saskatoon. Canadian Plasma Resources has already secured a street front location and is now recruiting staff and future donors.

Based on a report by CTV Regina’s Wayne Mantyka