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Tribute to organ and tissue donation advocate David Gough

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Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing


4 May 2012

WA Acknowledged for Role in Organ and Tissue Donation

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King today acknowledged Western Australia for its contribution to increasing organ and tissue donation for transplantation as part of the Australian Government’s National Reform Agenda.

Visiting Fremantle Hospital today, Ms King said: “In 2011, Western Australia made a significant contribution to the national organ donation outcomes with 33 organ donors, accounting for 10% of all organ donors in Australia.

“This result represents a 50% increase for Western Australia over its 2010 outcome and shows the National Reform Agenda continues to have a positive impact.”

Ms King also acknowledged Western Australia’s ongoing support of eye and tissue donations, improving and often saving the lives of many Australians through the transplantation of donated tissue.

“It is vital that West Australians are educated about the possibility of eye and tissue donation as well as organ donation. Many more people are able to donate their eyes and tissue and have the potential to improve the lives and mobility of dozens of Australians.”

Ms King said the Perth Bone and Tissue Bank has done an excellent job in promoting tissue donation through a the development of a recent Community Service Announcement featuring Jenni Penman, whose leg was saved through a large bone graft thanks to a tissue donor.

“Western Australia has experienced an increase in tissue donations in the last month, ensuring that WA tissue banks can continue to provide tissue grafts for surgical procedures in the future. We are most grateful to the donor families, whose consent to donation on the sudden loss of a loved one is a truly remarkable gift,” said Ms King.

“Western Australia is making significant headway in lifting organ and tissue donation outcomes. It is clear that more families are hearing our message to ask and know each other’s donation wishes and for this I thank the community of Western Australia.”

Ms King also paid tribute to the progress of the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) Program, which is coordinated through Fremantle Hospital and is an integral part of the National Reform Agenda.

The Australian Government’s paired kidney exchange program enables Australians in need of a kidney transplant to enrol as a pair with a relative or friend, who is willing to donate a kidney, but is not compatible with their loved one.

The Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program matches donors and recipients between enrolled pairs. This makes it possible for a living donor to donate a kidney to an anonymous recipient, in order

for their loved one to receive a kidney from another anonymous donor.

“This very successful program completed its first full year in 2011, resulting in an additional 26 Australians receiving a kidney transplant from living donors where otherwise it would not be possible. Australia is a world leader in this field and its results to date compare very favourably to that achieved in similar programs overseas in the first year of implementation.”

Ms King acknowledged the contribution of the National Coordination Centre, ably led by Professor Paolo Ferrari, the physicians, surgeons, transplant and referral centres, tissue typing labs, the National Organ Matching Service and of course the donors who are prepared to donate a kidney so that their loved one can also receive a donated kidney.

“I thank all of the DonateLife Network clinical and agency staff in Western Australia, as part of the national DonateLife community, for their commitment and dedication to improving organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes in Australia.

“I also acknowledge the important role of the community organisations and volunteers who, in partnership with DonateLife, are helping to educate more Australians about the need to discover, decide and discuss organ and tissue donation,” Ms King said.

In 2011 Australia achieved its highest organ donation rate of 337 deceased organ donors and its highest transplant recipient outcome of 1,001 transplant recipients.

For more information, contact the parliamentary secretary’s office on 02 6277 4230