Improving Our National Organ and Tissue Donation System
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Hasluck
16 April 2017
The Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, today released the Federal Government’s response to an independent review of how the national reform program to increase Australia’s rate of organ and tissue donation was progressing.
“The good news is that in 2016, a record 1,713 lives were saved through the generosity of 503 deceased organ donors and 267 living donors,” Minister Wyatt said.
“The number of Australia’s deceased organ donors has almost doubled since January 2009, when the reform program began.
“However, while the EY Review says that sound progress is being made it clearly makes the point that much more needs to be done for further growth to be achieved.
“In its recommendations the review strongly supports the 2015 Budget Measure, Accelerating Growth in Organ and Tissue Donation for Transplantation, which includes funding for the Australian Organ Matching System which has great potential to lift donation rates,” Minister Wyatt said.
“The Australian Organ Matching System, scheduled for implementation in early 2018, will be a vital addition to Australia’s donation and transplantation system. It will facilitate optimal matching of donor organs to transplant recipients to maximise equity of access and enhanced clinical outcomes for transplants in Australia.
“The Government accepts all of the recommendations of the EY review, with the key recommendations relating to new governance arrangements coming into effect from 1 July 2017.
“Legislation has already been passed which establishes a board to govern the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) and report directly to me, which was recommended by the review.
“The Federal Department of Health is currently working with state and territory governments to ensure that the board has the right mix of expertise to achieve continued growth in Australia’s donation and transplantation outcomes,” Minister Wyatt said.
“The majority of remaining recommendations in the EY review are currently being implemented through the OTA’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan: Progressing Australian organ and tissue donation and transplantation to 2020.
“With today’s advanced surgical techniques, organ and tissue donation can give many Australians with serious conditions the chance to live on, or to regain quality of life.
“Every one of us would hope for this chance if someone we love was affected - a child, our husband or wife, mother or father, or ourselves.
“Australians are very generous people. I am confident that, through systemic approaches to educate and involve donors, families and hospitals, we can lift our rates of organ and tissue donation to enable more lives to be saved and improved.
“Thoughtful and considered implementation of the EY Review recommendations will help us to reach that goal,” Minister Wyatt said.