Or­gan do­na­tions low de­spite fund­ing boost

Central Leader - - NEWS -

New fig­ures re­leased by Or­gan Do­na­tion New Zealand show there were just 38 or­gan donors last year. This is de­spite the Min­is­ter of Health, Tony Ryall an­nounc­ing a fund­ing boost of $4 mil­lion last year to try and raise donor num­bers.

New Zealand has one of the low­est or­gan donor rates in the devel­oped world. Last year we fared slightly bet­ter than Is­rael but were be­hind Cuba and Ice­land. Spain has around 32 donors per mil­lion of pop­u­la­tion, com­pared with our nine.

Or­gan donor cam­paigner Andy Tookey is not sur­prised by the con­tin­ued low donor rates.

‘‘We have ex­actly the same num­ber of donors as we did 10 years ago.

‘‘Par­lia­ment’s Health Se­lect Com­mit­tee, in re­sponse to my pe­ti­tion were equally con­cerned and made a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions, one of which was a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign. Ten years on from that report we still have had no progress.

‘‘There are plenty more po­ten­tial donors, but we know that up to 60 per cent do not be­come donors be­cause fam­i­lies refuse con­sent,’’ Mr Tookey says.

‘‘A pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign would en­cour­age fam­i­lies to dis­cuss their wishes with each other and maybe lessen that re­fusal rate,’’ he adds.

Mr Tookey is also con­cerned that the Min­is­ter of Health is ‘‘putting all of his eggs in one bas­ket’’ by giv­ing in to con­tin­ued ex­tra fund­ing re­quests by the Or­gan Donor Ser­vice with no in­crease in out­come.

‘‘It is time to try other ini­tia­tives to in­crease the or­gan donor rate such as paying the funeral ex­penses of or­gan donors. More peo­ple would be pre­pared to dis­cuss be­ing a donor with their fam­ily if they knew that the fi­nan­cial bur­den of a funeral would be taken off their fam­ily at an al­ready tragic time.

‘‘It’s ironic that many peo­ple al­ready get a funeral grant from ei­ther be­ing a ben­e­fi­ciary or from ACC, but donors who go on to save the lives of, or im­prove the qual­ity of life for up to 10 peo­ple get noth­ing in recog­ni­tion of their con­tri­bu­tion to so­ci­ety.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.