Organ and Tissue Authority

What Are You Waiting For? Register to be an Organ Donor

Article Date: 

Friday, July 27, 2018

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Australian government crest

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Aged Care

Minister for Indigenous Health

Member for Hasluck

 

MEDIA RELEASE

27 July 2018

Australians are urged to wait no longer to register as organ and tissue donors this DonateLife Week (29 July – 5 August 2018).

As part of the week-long push to get more people registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register, DonateLife is joining forces with Tonic Health Media to bring the organ and tissue donation message to millions of Australians. 

The collaboration will see DonateLife posters and video content promoted in more than 1,650 GP clinic waiting rooms and 300 pharmacies across the country from now until the end of October. 

Ken Wyatt AM, the Minister responsible for DonateLife and the Australian Organ and Tissue Transplantation Authority, said the alliance – supported by a range of community engagement activities taking place during DonateLife Week – would help close the gap between the number of Australians willing to become organ and tissue donors, and the number of people who have registered their decision. 

“While 81% of Australians believe that registering their donation decision is important, only 34% have joined the Australian Organ Donor Register,” Minister Wyatt said. 

“We know that registration has a direct impact on donation rates, with nine in ten families agreeing to donation when their loved one is registered to be an organ donor.

“So, the question I’m asking Australians is: What are you waiting for? Register today,” Minister Wyatt said. 

This weekend, football fans across the nation will also be urged to join the Australian Organ Donor Register, as the Australian Football League again teams up with DonateLife to promote lifesaving organ and tissue donation.

Round 19 of the competition will focus on organ donation, with on-field signage to feature at all stadiums and goal umpires to wave magenta flags during matches. 

Last year, 510 deceased organ donors and 273 living donors, saved and improved the lives of 1,675 Australians. A further 9,600 Australians benefited from eye and tissue transplants. 

Tonic Health Media CEO Dr Matthew Cullen said the organisation was proud to be supporting DonateLife in continuing to improve organ and tissue donation outcomes in Australia. 

“Keeping organ and tissue donation front of mind, especially in healthcare environments, will spark Australians to have important conversations and eventuate in many lives being improved and saved,” Dr Cullen said.

“These conversations will not only lead to people making decisions now about registering, but also provide families with peace of mind knowing what their loved one’s intentions were in relation to organ and tissue donation.”

With 1,400 Australians currently waitlisted for a life-saving transplant and a further 11,000 on dialysis, Minster Wyatt urged Australians to make their decision count this DonateLife Week by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register and telling their loved ones they want to be a donor.

“You can register online in less than a minute at donatelife.gov.au – all you need is your Medicare Card number,” Wyatt said. 

DonateLife Week is part of the Australian Government’s national program to increase organ and tissue donation and improve transplantation outcomes.

To join the Australian Organ Donor Register or to find out how you can support DonateLife Week in your local area, visit the donatelife.gov.au website