National Reform Program

National reform program

On 2 July 2008 the Australian Government announced a national reform program to implement a world’s best practice approach to organ and tissue donation for transplantation, which was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments on 3 July 2008.

The Australian Government aims to improve access to life-transforming transplants for Australians through a sustained increase in the donation of organs and tissues by implementing a nationally coordinated approach to organ and tissue donation.

Evidence from comparable countries demonstrates that a coordinated national approach, focused on clinical practice reform, improves organ donation and transplantation rates.

The twin objectives of the national reform program are to:

  • increase the capability and capacity within the health system to maximise donation rates; and
  • raise community awareness and stakeholder engagement across Australia to promote organ and tissue donation.

The nine key elements of the national reform program are:

  • Establish a new national approach and system for organ and tissue donation: a national authority and network of organ and tissue donation agencies
  • Establish specialist hospital staff and systems dedicated to organ donation
  • Provide new funding for hospitals
  • Provide national professional education and awareness
  • Provide coordinated, ongoing community awareness and education
  • Provide support for donor families
  • Establish a safe, equitable and transparent donation and transplantation network
  • National eye and tissue donation and transplantation
  • Undertake additional national initiatives, including living donation programs.

These activities are managed by the Organ and Tissue Authority through the DonateLife Network, in partnership with state and territory governments, eye and tissue banks, community organisations and the broad donation and transplantation clinical sectors.



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