Bishop’s Member’s bill all set to save lives

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Member’s bill which will fully compensate live organ donors for lost wages unanimously passed its second reading in Parliament last night.

Chris Bishop’s Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill will provide compensation for recovering organ donors at 100% of their average wage for up to 12 weeks. Mr Bishop, the National List MP based in Hutt South, said Parliament’s vote will save New Zealand lives.

“This bill make a big difference to many New Zealanders and the removal of financial barriers will undoubtedly save lives,” said Mr Bishop.

“I’m proud that New Zealanders who altruistically give up a part of themselves to save the lives of another will soon be fully compensated for their brave actions. This small but significant change will go a long way to addressing New Zealand’s low organ donation rates.

“There are around 750 New Zealanders around the country waiting for an organ. As long as live organ donors are penalised for their altruism, we will struggle to lift the number of live organ donors that this country needs.”

The amended bill provides strengthened support for live organ donors. Donors will be reimbursed at 100 percent of their income for up to 12 weeks during recovery to reflect a cost-neutrality approach as followed in the United Kingdom. Currently live organ donors receive the equivalent of the sickness benefit.

Responsibility for compensation will shift from the Ministry of Social Development to the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, and new entitlements will be backdated for eligible donors to mitigate the risk of donors deferring becoming a donor until the bill passes into law.

“Along with the Ministry of Health’s review of deceased organ donation, and the funding provided in Budgets 2012 and Budget 2014, this bill will encourage more people to donate organs and lower the barriers to organ transplants in New Zealand”, says Mr Bishop.

The bill will now be debated clause by clause on the next Members’ Day in November and Mr Bishop says he hopes the bill will be passed in to law by the end of the year.

Click here to read Mr Bishop’s second reading speech.