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MSP Stuart McMillan has introduced to Holyrood a Member's Bill which, if passed, will allow medical services such as the NHS to reclaim the cost of treatment of patients with asbestos-related diseases.

With cuts to NHS funding and staff shortages regularly reported across UK media channels, it is expected that the proposed legislation will garner considerable support from many organisations.

The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases Bill will be put to public consultation and Holyrood is eager to hear the views of Scotland's residents and interested parties.

If legislation is approved, the companies responsible for exposing an employee to asbestos will become responsible for funding the patient's medical care and treatment.

Insurance companies may find themselves liable to costs if a civil claim has already been settled.

Clydeside Action on Asbestos, a charity which offers support to those diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, is in support of the Bill.

Speaking to STV, Chairwoman Phyllis Craig made the following statement: "We are urging civic Scotland and wider society to engage with our consultation to make clear their views."

The number of asbestos diseases diagnosed has increased in recent years and with the NHS already under strain, Phyllis Craig suggests that it is only fair and just for employers who put the health of their workers at risk to foot the bill for medical treatment.

If new legislation is enacted as a result of the Bill it will be intriguing to see if it relieves strain on dwindling NHS budgets in Scotland's hospitals.

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