NEW PROGRAM AIMS TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO ORGAN DONATION FROM LIVING DONORS: OSWALD
The province is partnering with the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch to establish a new program to reimburse expenses for living donors who donate a kidney or part of their liver to a friend or loved one living in Manitoba, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today in the lead‑up to National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.
“People who are helping save a life shouldn’t have to bear what can often be a significant financial cost,” said Oswald. “This new program will address those barriers by covering some of the costs associated with organ donation, making it easier for people to become a living donor.”
Expenses will be covered for donors who provide a kidney or partial liver to a Manitoba resident. Expenses eligible under the pilot program will include such items as transportation, accommodation, meals and child-care costs. The Kidney Foundation will co-ordinate the application process and all expenses must be pre-approved before reimbursement can take place.
The province and the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch will each contribute $25,000 for the project in 2008-09.
“We are so pleased to partner with the government in this vitally important new program,” said Val Dunphy, executive director of the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch. “We know that organ donation saves lives, and that’s what this program will do for the many Manitobans who are waiting for the chance to live a new life.”
“The partnership between the province and the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch that will reimburse the expenses incurred by living donors of kidneys and a partial liver is a most welcome one,” said Dr. David Rush, director of Transplant Manitoba’s adult kidney program. “Transplant Manitoba is again thankful for the visionary leadership of the province and the Kidney Foundation in support of our patients, and of transplantation in general.”
In 2006 and 2007, Transplant Manitoba performed 100 kidney transplants, a 72 per cent increase from 2004-05.
“As we mark the start of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, I want to encourage Manitobans to sign their donor cards and make their wishes about organ donation known,” said Oswald. “Filling out the form takes only a few minutes, but it can make a difference for a lifetime and even save a life.”
National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week takes place April 20 to 27.
More information on the new program is available from the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch at 204-989-0808.