Media Release

Hospital Transplant Funding Supported by Kidney Health Australia and International Transplantation Society


Kidney Health Australia

A $17 million three year program to cover the costs of transplants in Australian Hospitals has been supported by Kidney Health Australia and the International Transplantation Society. 

Protect yourKidneysAnne Wilson, CEO and Managing Director of Kidney Health Australia and Dr Jeremy Chapman, President of the International Transplantation Society, in a joint statement said the program, set up under the Federal Government's Organ and Tissue Authority to improve Australia's level of organ donation, which is among the lowest in the world, is a positive step for the hundreds of Australians waiting for an organ transplant.

Ms Wilson said, 63% of all organ transplants are kidney-related with an average wait of four years, waits of seven years not uncommon. One person a week on average dies whilst waiting for a kidney transplant.

Dr Chapman said the funding from the program was urgently needed to ensure that already stretched resources of 'Intensive Care Units' to treat critically  injured people were not diverted to maintain a potential deceased organ donor whilst families made decision on organ donation.

"By providing the $17 million of funds the Government is providing hospitals with the ability to  look after living patients who are critically ill, and in life threatening situations, whilst still looking after the needs of potential deceased organ donors and their families.

"Australia is at the leading edge of  ensuring ethical care of deceased organ donors and this program further improves the process," Dr Chapman said.

Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director of Kidney Health Australia, said that kidney transplantation is successful in 92% of cases and Australia has one of the best success rates of kidney transplant survival in the world.

The number of kidney transplants in Australia from deceased donors in 2009 was 446 - the second highest total in the last 20 years and the new initiative could lift this level and give many more people a second chance at life.  The number of people waiting on the kidney transplant list at February 1st 2010 was 1291.

A special church service will be held in Perth today to reflect and give thanks for those special people who have given others a second chance of life through the donation of organs and tissues for transplantation.

Kidney Health Australia said the 3.00pm service at Wesley Church, to celebrate and recognise organ donors who have given the gift of life, highlights the outstanding success of transplantation in Australia.

Media Enquiries: 

Anne Wilson CEO & Managing Director Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0400 165391
Dr Jeremy Chapman President of the International Transplantation Society Mob: 0419 751 656 until 2.00pm
Dr Tim Mathew, Medical Director Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0416 149 863
Ron Smith Corporate Media Communications Kidney Health Australia Mobile: 0417 329 201