Six years of hard work is paying off with Australia recording its highest annual number of donors in 2015.
Last year 435 donors gave new life to 1,241 recipients. This is the highest amount of donors since records began in 1989 and represents a 14 per cent increase from 2014.
Transplant Australia congratulates the Organ & Tissue Authority and the DonateLife sector across Australia, including all of the hard-working doctors, nurses and donation specialists.
“However above all we must thank those people who gave the gift of life through recording their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register and the families for supporting that decision,” Transplant Australia Chairman, Mr Jason Ryan said.
‘We know that the best way to leave a legacy of donation is to join the register and inform your family about your decision. These two simple steps double the chance of someone becoming a donor if they are medically eligible. In the absence of registration or discussion, only 46 per cent of families consent to donation.
“Transplant Australia is working closely with the Federal Government to ensure that key recommendations of the review into organ and tissue donation concerning registration are implemented quickly and efficiently.
“Australians want to be able to sign up for donor registration. We need to make it as simple as possible. We congratulate the Minister for Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash, that from May Australians will be able to sign on to the register through a one step process in under 10 minutes.”
Mr Ryan said the record number of donors achieved in 2015 showed that the strategies to improve the donation system in Australia were on track but more needs to be done.
“In addition to modernising the register, there are further improvements to be made. We need to ensure that every donation conversation in every instance is undertaken by a trained professional who can guide the grieving family through to a decision with which they are comfortable. And we need to ensure that as many Australians are registered so that those families clearly know what their loved one wanted. Supporting their legacy to save seven to ten lives is perhaps the most important thing they can do at the difficult time of losing a loved one.”
Transplant Australia has supported the reforms of the organ and tissue donation sector which has seen the annual number of donors increase from 200 donors a year to 435 donors in 2015. To reach a standard equivalent to the best donation countries in the world Australia needs to achieve about 600 donors a year.