An organ donation summit, bringing together key stakeholders to plan how Western Australia’s organ donation rates can be substantially increased, will be held on August 18.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said he hoped recommendations from the summit, combined with recent WA legislative changes and Commonwealth funding, would double or triple the current organ donation rate.
“Donating organs saves lives and improves the quality of life,” Mr McGinty said.
“After the summit, I want to be in the position to go forward with the legislative and administrative changes that will remove all of the impediments to organ donation.
“Some of the world’s best transplant teams are right here in WA and there is strong public support for organ donation, but for some reason we have a very low donation rate by international standards.
“We need to look at the reasons why we don’t have organs donated from cardiac death and why families are not talking about organ donation so relatives know what their loved one would want if that difficult decision needs to be made.
“This summit will bring together all the interested parties: medical specialists, people working in intensive care, transplant surgeons, donor families, transplant recipients and members of the public, to discuss how we can ensure that we have the highest level of organ donation possible.”
The WA Parliament recently passed new laws introduced by the State Government, which remove legal uncertainties in obtaining consent from patients and their families for organ donation to occur after the heart has stopped.
It is expected that these changes may allow an additional 15 dangerously ill Western Australians to receive lifesaving transplants each year.
Last year, 58 Western Australians donated organs and tissues upon their death, resulting in life-saving and life-enhancing transplants for more than 200 people in this State.
There are currently 650,000 Western Australians registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
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