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More kidney transplants expected each year


More kidney transplants expected each year

Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced the government is investing an extra $4 million to establish a National Renal Transplant Service to increase the number of live kidney donor transplantations over the next few years.

Mr Ryall says the shortage of kidneys for transplantation is a serious problem in New Zealand. While there were around 110 kidney transplants last year there are still over 600 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant.

“The new National Renal Transplant Service will be led by doctors and renal transplant experts and will help us better coordinate transplantation services across the country and increase transplant numbers.

“The target is to increase transplants by 10 per year. This will mean an extra 100 people will receive kidney transplants over the next four years.

“The new service includes donor liaison coordinators who will work at each the three transplanting centres and in the seven larger renal services in the country. These coordinators will support donors and recipients throughout the transplantation process, from providing education to interested potential donors to organising blood tests and carrying out pre-surgery preparation.

“The service will also provide increased support for the Paired Kidney Exchange initiative, which allows donor and recipient pairs who are not compatible with each other to be listed for possible swap with other pairs.

“This increase in funding builds on the $4 million investment in Budget 2012 to raise awareness and encourage more people to donate organs.

“Kidney transplants significantly improve the quality of life and the long-term survival of patients with end stage renal disease.

Mr Ryall says we want to give more people who need a transplant, renewed lives, and reduce expensive health care costs, such as dialysis.

ends

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