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International experts complement Australia's organ and tissue donation reform



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THE HON CATHERINE KING MP PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND AGEING

INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS COMPLEMENT AUSTRALIA’S ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION REFORM

Visiting Australia for the 2012 Annual DonateLife Network Forum, Dr Laura Siminoff from the USA and Associate Professor Marti Manyalich from Spain have joined delegates to share their experience of organ and tissue donation reform in their home countries and explore opportunities to further Australia’s.

The Forum takes place on 28-29 March 2012 in Brisbane, and is attended by 290 DonateLife Network staff from across Australia, and is dedicated to the discussion of organ and tissue donation.

“The 2012 DonateLife Network Forum provides those in the sector with an opportunity to share their experience and expertise with others from the Network across Australia as well as two international experts” said Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.

“The theme of this year’s forum supports the clear priority for the DonateLife Network - ‘Communication and Consent’. In 2010, Australia achieved a family consent rate of just 54% for donation after brain death. Our goal is to achieve a national consent

rate of 75%,” Ms King said.

“In its third year the DonateLife campaign has encouraged thousands of Australians to have a discussion about organ donation and talk about each other’s donation wishes. However we are still not at the point that anywhere near enough Australians know what the wish of their family member is.”

Ms King acknowledged the contribution of the DonateLife Network in Australia’s achievement of the highest donation and transplantation outcomes since national records began in 2011.

In 2011 Australia achieved 337 organ donors, representing a 36% increase on the 2009 outcome of 247 donors. This resulted in 1,001 transplant recipients, representing a 25% increase on the 2009 outcome of 779 transplant recipients.

“We know that there is still much to be done to sustain and build on these increases in order to save and improve the lives of more Australians in need of a transplant,” said Ms King.

This is the third annual forum held since the establishment of both the Organ and Tissue Authority and the DonateLife Network, as part of the Australian Government’s National Reform Agenda to increase organ and tissue donation for transplantation.

28 MARCH 2012

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PETER DWYER 0409 866 054