HSE service plan inclusion of organ donor coordinators gives hope to the 650 people awaiting organ transplants

Hope given to 650 awaiting organ transplants by Organ donor coordinators inclusion in the HSE service plan

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There are currently 650 people who are waiting on the various organ transplant lists of which 500 are awaiting life saving and life transforming kidney transplants. If those awaiting a Kidney Transplant were to receive on the resulting saving to the taxpayer would be 325,000,000 million euro. There are also 1,800 people on Kidney dialysis at a cost to the tax payer over a decade of 1.2 billion.

Senator Mark Daly commented “I believe that the employment of organ donor coordinators will lead to enormous advances in transforming Ireland’s organ donations system allowing many more lives to be saved ‘

For the first time in the history of the state organ donor coordinators are included in the HSE service plan. Organ Donor Coordinators are specialists who would discuss with families the option of donating their loved ones organs. These coordinators are the key reason for the high rate of organ donation in Spain, double Ireland’s donation rate, making them Europe’s most successful country when it comes to organ donation for transplantation.

During the debate this summer surrounding Ireland’s organ donation systems, triggered because of the Seanad recall on 20th August, the head of the Spanish transplant authority Rafael Matesanz. said that Ireland’s organs donation system is ‘Costing lives’.

Mark Murphy of the Irish Kidney Association said ‘ I am glad to report that another result of the publicity and public awareness surrounding the Seanad recall and debate, for the first time Organ donor coordinators and associated management are included in the HSE service plan’.

Senator Mark Daly who led the recall of the Seanad on August 20th welcomed the news ‘having organ donor coordinators as part of the service plan is the most important thing that the government could do to increase the organ donation rates in Ireland ‘.

Senator Daly secured the signatures of 20 Senate colleagues and invoked the previously unused powers of the Seanad to have it recalled to debate and vote on the first ever law on Organ Donation in the history of the State.

As direct result of the publicity surrounding the Seanad recall the HSE decided the week the Seanad was recalled to debate the organ donation law to add extra senior staff and provide office facilities to the National organ donation and transplant office. The service plan provides funding for €2.92 million for the 6 intensive care nurses, 6 link nurses,5 procurement coordinators,4 quality manager requested by the national organ transplant office.

The government also promised to publish the long awaited Human Tissue Bill before the end of the year, this however did not happen.

During the Seanad debate the key issue continually raised was the need for Organ Donor Coordinators, specialists who would discuss organ donation with bereaving families.

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