Friday, March 21, 2008

Organ group folds as donations dwindle

  • Transplant rates in Australia plummet

  • Major organ donation body folds

  • Report says system is too complicated

From in Australia:

THE nation's organ donation system is in unprecedented crisis as the transplant rate remains one of the worst in the world - and falling.

And experts fear the situation could worsen and rates plummet even further with the closure of one of the nation's leading organ donation groups.

The Daily Telegraph reveals Australians Donate, the driving force in raising awareness since 1998, has been axed.

Despite nearly 5.5 million registered organ donors in Australia, there are almost 1800 Australians waiting for a transplant.

In 2007, only 198 people donated their organs, down from 202 the previous year.

A recent Federal Government report blamed a complex system involving too many organisations and lack of co-ordination for Australia's low donation rate.

The report also accused Australians Donate of being "ineffective". Its closure next week will leave a void in the organ donor sector, with the Government yet to decide how to resolve the dire situation.

Donation rates have slumped since a peak 20 years ago despite a recent aggressive campaign to boost numbers.

The Government's answer to the crisis is to start from scratch -- but it has no immediate plans to set up another co-ordinating body to take over from Australians Donate. Read the complete story.

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