Organ Donors and Related Matters Bill
Kidney Health New Zealand welcomes the Minister’s announcement of the Organ Donors and Related Matters Bill, which will enable the Blood Service to take on the role of a national organ donation service. This is an important step in progressing the Deceased Organ Donation and Transplantation National Strategy said Carmel Gregan-Ford, acting CEO.
A national service will be able to lead implementation of the key goals of the Strategy: improving public awareness; providing advice and information to support donation conversations; improving registration systems; ensuring effective clinical governance; working with the sector to coordinate processes. While this announcement is good news there is much of the strategy yet to be progressed, if it is to achieve these key goals. We encourage the Minister to progress the balance of the strategy through the wellbeing Budget (Budget 2019). The NZ Blood Service needs to be funded this fiscal year to develop a detailed business plan, and associated implementation/transition plan – in order that the new service can be operational by late 2019.
It is encouraging that our deceased organ donation rate has been increasing over the past couple of years, but it is still one of the lowest in the developed world. Hundreds of patients remain on the waiting list, their quality of life and life expectancy significantly reduced unless they receive a transplant.
This bill is the initial step, but full implementation of the strategy is necessary to ensure an ongoing sustainable increase in the number of transplant operations performed to meet the needs of patients waiting living with kidney failure.