This DonateLife Week (24-31 July) 100,000 Australians are being asked to register as organ and tissue donors as part of the Great Registration Race.
The Minister responsible for the Australian Government’s national program to increase organ and tissue donation, The Hon. Ged Kearney MP, launched DonateLife Week at her former workplace, Melbourne’s Austin Hospital.
Minister Kearney, a former nurse of 20 years, was joined at the Austin Hospital by toddlers Zoe Gallacher, 3, Ashleen Kainth, 2, and Riley Swander, 3, and their families. The children all received liver transplants at the Royal Children’s Hospital, with care from surgeons based out of the Austin’s world leading liver transplant team.
Minister Kearney said while four in five Australians support donation, there are around 13 million people aged 16+ yet to register as organ and tissue donors.
Data released shows how many Aussies are registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register broken down by LGAs – with a national average of 36%.
So while 2021 saw an 87% increase (up on 2020) in the number of people registering as organ and tissue donors with around 350,000 new registrations, there is still more to be done to lift registration rates this DonateLife Week.
“Having started my career as a nurse, organ and tissue donation is a topic I’m incredibly passionate about, because I’ve seen first-hand the life-saving and life-changing impact it has.
“This Great Registration Race for DonateLife Week, I’m encouraging all Australians to register as organ and tissue donors, it really does only take one minute online at donatelife.gov.au or just three taps in your Medicare Express Plus app.”
The problem isn’t that Australians don’t support organ and tissue donation – it’s that they don’t know how to register, don’t think they’re healthy enough or simply haven’t got around to it.
With around 1,750 seriously ill people on Australia’s waitlist hoping for a potentially life-saving organ transplant, and another 13,000 people on dialysis, some who may benefit from a kidney transplant, the demand for organs has never been greater.
Any Australian aged 16 and over can sign up online. It doesn't matter how old you are or how healthy you are – you can still register as an organ and tissue donor.
One organ donor can save up to seven lives and help many more through eye and tissue donation. It only takes one minute to register as an organ and tissue donor at donatelife.gov.au or just three taps in your Express Plus Medicare app.
DonateLife Week runs Sunday 24 July until Sunday 31 July with events and activities taking place throughout the country.