Sunday, February 21, 2010

Australian govt plans to pay hospitals for patients who become donors

Concerned over the low rate of organ donation, the Australian Government plans to give hospitals $11,400 for each patient who becomes a donor. If implemented, would this encourage hospitals to "pressure" patients into giving away their organs?

The Sydney Morning Herald

Lobby groups have backed a federal plan to cover the costs of harvesting organs, saying the scheme is welcome news for people waiting for transplants.

Kidney Health Australia and the International Transplantation Society on Sunday said Australia's level of organ donation was among the lowest in the world.

"(The program) is a positive step for the hundreds of Australians waiting for an organ transplant," they said in a joint statement.

According to News Ltd reports, the federal government plans to set aside $17 million for an "activity-based funding" scheme.

Hospitals could receive up to $11,400 for each patient who becomes a donor, with the funding designed to help hospitals cover the costs linked to transplants.

Kidney Health Australia chief executive Anne Wilson said 63 per cent of all organ transplants were kidney-related with an average wait of four years.

She said one person a week on average died while waiting for a kidney transplant.

Dr Jeremy Chapman, president of the International Transplantation Society, said the $17 million in federal funds would give hospitals the ability to look after living patients who were critically ill, and in life-threatening situations, while still looking after the needs of potential deceased organ donors and their families.

"Australia is at the leading edge of ensuring ethical care of deceased organ donors and this program further improves the process," he said in the statement.

But doctors are worried that the scheme could be seen as an incentive for hospitals to pressure patients into giving away their organs, News Ltd reported.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here

In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register

In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register

Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant.

No comments: