I posted the Ontario government's press release (below) yesterday before I learned about Dalton McGuinty's comments at a meeting with interested parties. From what I read in today's papers, this inititive will only become a reality if we re-elect his government this coming October. Also, there seems to be a cap of $5,500 on what the government will pay for expenses such as lost wages and travel, etc.
TORONTO, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced the Ontario government is investing $4 million in a comprehensive new plan to boost organ donations and save lives.
"Too many Ontarians face an agonizing wait for an organ that could save their life," said Premier McGuinty. "We want to do everything we can to help boost organ donation so more Ontarians get the second chance at life that they deserve."
The government's organ donation strategy will:
- Help connect living donors with compatible recipients with a new living donor database
- Improve public awareness through investments in public education, including a youth-focused campaign
- Provide funding to reimburse living donors for pre-approved expenses, such as accommodation, meals, travel and lost income
- Provide hospitals with information identifying people who wish to donate their organs after death. This will help ensure those individuals' organ donation wishes are known and respected.
The new organ donation strategy is guided by recommendations made by the Citizens Panel on Increasing Organ Donations. The McGuinty government established the panel in 2006 to survey the public on their views about organ donation and ways to improve and increase organ donation. The panel released its final report in April 2007.
"We are delighted the government has moved so quickly in response to our report," said Dr. Ted Boadway, Chair of the Citizens Panel on Increasing Organ Donations. "Ontarians on waiting lists for organ transplants will have a new chance at life."
"This is a great day for people on the waiting list for an organ transplant and for potential living donors," said Frank Markel, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "This new strategy will improve communication with potential living organ donors and those waiting so that more donations and transplantations can occur, and, save more lives."
The government's organ donation strategy is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have achieved results in health care services across the province.
Other initiatives include:
- $10.4 million in additional funding for 2007-08 for hospitals to support organ transplantation across Ontario
- Implementing Routine Notification and Request - a strategy requiring Ontario's hospitals to report all deaths to Trillium Gift of Life Network, allowing it to take the necessary steps to determine if an organ donation is possible
- Providing hospitals with the funds needed for screening, assessment and surgery of living liver and kidney donors.