Working Together to Increase Organ & Tissue Donation Rates
The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler, has unveiled the National Communications Charter Signatories Wall at the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority.
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17 September 2009
The Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler, today unveiled the National Communications Charter Signatories Wall at the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority.
With 47 signatories, including the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, sector agencies and community organisations, the Wall of Signatories symbolises a new unified approach to promote awareness and increase public confidence in organ and tissue donation.
While Australia is recognised as a world leader in transplantation outcomes, the number of organ and tissue donations is low by global standards. There are around 1800 Australians on the official waiting list at any one time, with on average 200 organ donors each year.
"Every donation is important," Mr Butler said. "This sector has over 70 stakeholders and we cannot afford to lose potential donations through public confusion arising from a fragmented approach."
“We know that while the majority of Australians support organ and tissue donation, many families do not discuss this in any depth," Mr Butler said. "Yet we also know that when people face the decision about donating a family member's organs they want to be sure of that person's wishes."
The Charter signatories are working with the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority to increase family consent and organ donation rates for transplantation by joining together to promote nationally consistent, evidence-based messages.
"Our shared goal is to enable Australians to discover the facts on organ and tissue donation, to make informed choices to decide to become donors and to discuss as a family to confidently know each other’s wishes in relation to organ and tissue donation,” said Ms Karen Murphy, Chief Executive Office of the Authority.
"The Charter Signatories Wall represents an important milestone in the Australian Government’s $151.1 million sector reform package to improve access to lifesaving transplants,” Mr Butler said.
More information is available at www.donatelife.gov.au
Media contacts: Lisa Sedgwick, Parliamentary Secretary's office, (02) 6277 4414
Kerry McKay, AOTDTA, (02) 6198 9894
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