Bishop welcomes organ donation review

Friday, October 9, 2015

Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, has welcomed a government review on how deceased organ donation rates in New Zealand can be increased.

Mr Bishop is sponsoring a Member’s Bill which increases the financial support available for living organ donors. The Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill passed its first reading unanimously in August and is currently being considered by the Health Committee.

“Our deceased organ donation rate in New Zealand is one of the lowest in the world. This review announced by the Minister is a timely look into what we can do to change perception and practice around organ donation,” says Mr Bishop.

“In New Zealand there were 46 deceased organ donations carried out last year, compared to around 740 people who are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. By considering how other countries around the world approach organ donation we could be looking at potentially life-saving changes for these New Zealanders.”

The review sits alongside a number of initiatives already undertaken by the Government, including $4 million over four years in Budget 2014 to set up a National Renal Transplant Service.

“This government review complements the small but significant change through my member’s bill, which increases the rate of financial support for live organ donors from the equivalent of the sickness benefit to 80% of the donor’s average wages.

“This greater level of support more properly recognises the health and financial risks these individuals make for the sake of others, and will encourage more people to donate.”

“Feedback received on my Bill to date has been very positive, and I’m looking forward to the Health Committee consideration.”

A copy of the review’s Terms of Reference is available on the Ministry of Health website here.

More information on the Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill, currently being considered by the Health Select Committee, is available here.