” I have the pleasure of launching a significant report in improving access to organ and tissue donation, but also the establishment of a national task force that will undertake work to look at, what the obstacles are, what are the challenges and considerations we need to make in the way in which people access the transplant list, but also the operations that follow”.
Federal Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt announced the national project on Tuesday, saying it aimed to combat the low rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians receiving donor kidneys and has announced it will provide $2.3 million towards increasing the number of Indigenous Australians receiving donor kidneys. see full speech part 2 Below
Download copy of report
World Kidney Day – Thursday 14 March 2019
World Kidney Day is an annual global campaign to raise awareness of the importance of kidney health.
Chronic kidney disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths each year.
On its 14th anniversary, World Kidney Day promotes affordable and equitable access to health education, healthcare and prevention for kidney diseases for all.
Find out more at www.worldkidneyday.org
” Australians should be “saddened, angry and flabbergasted” that Indigenous patients are up to 10 times less likely to be added to the kidney donation waitlist than non-Indigenous patients, a leading renal specialist has said.
Background Key points 2017
- Indigenous dialysis patients 10 times less likely to be put on a waitlist for kidney transplant
- Dr Paul Lawton says non-Indigenous doctors are biased towards non-Indigenous dialysis patients
- Professor Steve Chadban says racism is not to blame
Dr Paul Lawton, a specialist at the Menzies School of Health Research, said Australian kidney specialists were “well meaning” but that structural racism had led to unacceptably low transplant rates for Aboriginal patients.
He said Australia’s system was tipped towards waitlisting non-Indigenous patients over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Currently, our system is structured so that us non-Indigenous, often male, middle-aged white kidney specialists offer kidney transplants to people like ourselves,”
The report was commissioned in June 2018, partly in response to figures that suggested Indigenous patients are 10 times less likely than non-Indigenous patients to be added to the waiting list for a kidney donation transplant :Picture Below 2017
Despite those figures, 13 per cent of patients receiving dialysis treatment in Australia are Indigenous.
The report was compiled by the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand and prioritises three of its 35 recommendations, including the establishment of a National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation taskforce.
Professor Stephen McDonald, a nephrologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and one of the report’s authors, said the funding announcement is an important step.
“This is a very clear next step, and a change in focus from identifying with the problem, to actually doing something about the problem in a coordinated fashion. There have been a variety of bodies who have had input in this area in the past, but this is the first time there’s been a coordinated and focused approach.”
Indigenous people, especially those who live in remote communities, have a much greater risk of developing end-stage kidney disease, which initially requires dialysis treatment.
However, once Indigenous people make it on to the transplant waiting list, they receive transplants at around the same rate as non-Indigenous people.
Part 2 :Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, MP speech at the 2019 Donation and Transplantation Conference – Indigenous Health Roundtable
Good morning everyone – in West Australian Noongar language, I say “kaya wangju” – hello and welcome.
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and future.
I also acknowledge:
- Lucinda Barry (CEO of Australia’s Organ and Tissue Authority)
- Chairman of the OTA Board, Dr Mal Washer and Board members:
- Professor Carol Pollock (deputy Chair)
- Dr Marisa Herson
- Margaret Kruger
- Oren Klemich
- Prof Stephen Lynch
I welcome our special international guests:
- Howard Nathan (President and CEO of the Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia, United States)
- Chris Callaghan (Consultant kidney and pancreas transplant surgeon at Guy’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, London, UK)
- Dr Nick Cross (nephrologist at Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand)
- And all the distinguished attendees here today.
On behalf of the Morrison Government and the Organ and Tissue Authority, I thank you for joining us for this important conference.
Organ and tissue donation and transplantation is an area I am very passionate about, and one that is critical to our nations’ health systems.
We are celebrating 10 years of the Australian Government’s national program to improve organ and tissue donation for transplantation in Australia.
At this significant anniversary, I think it is an important opportunity to reflect on how far we have come.
Since 2009, the national program has seen the number of deceased organ donors more than double – to 554 in 2018.
This has resulted in more than 11,000 people receiving a lifesaving transplant.
There has also been more than 16,000 Australians receiving the gift of sight since 2009.
And last year, we achieved our highest ever consent rate of 64 per cent due to more Australians saying ‘yes’ to donation.
The data gives us essential facts but what has made this real for me has been talking to those families who have said yes to donation and those that have had their lives transformed by a transplant.
I heard from a teenage boy who talked about his Dad becoming a donor, and the comfort it gave him knowing his father had given someone else the chance to live.
He spoke with pride about his Dad and pondered whether whoever had received his organs would also develop the same passions for life and sport that his father had.
And in January this year I was at St Vincent’s Hospital, here in Sydney.
There I met Jayden Cummins – a single Dad who in 2017 was living a normal life, caring for his teenage son, when he contracted the flu.
His life was turned upside down when he was told he needed a heart transplant.
He showed me his black little bag with his Ventricular Assist Device that he was permanently attached to – keeping him alive.
He had been waiting about 18 months, however he remained positive and totally focused on being there for his son.
Today, I was informed that Jayden has had his transplant and is on the road to recovery. I wish Jayden all the best and thank the generosity of his donor and their family for giving him the gift of life.
This is just one story that shows the importance of your work and the significant impact is has on people’s lives.
Like everyone attending this conference, our Government’s focus is on continuing to enhance clinical programs in hospitals, and the systems which support donation and transplantation services.
But what if we find a group of people within our communities who are not receiving their fair share of increasing organ donation and transplantation?
Last year, I saw figures showing that, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people registered for Renal Replacement Therapy, only 13 per cent received transplants, compared with 51 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.
So, in June I announced funding for the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand to lead an expert panel, to investigate and identify transplantation barriers facing our people.
The expert panel, convened by Prof Stephen McDonald, has produced an outstanding report: Improving Access to and Outcomes of Kidney Transplantation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Australia.
I want to thank all members of the panel for their contribution to this comprehensive document, which I am releasing – and endorsing – today.
Furthermore, I am proud to announce that the Morrison Government will provide $2.3 million to drive a national project to lift the low rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians receiving donor organs, as recommended in the report.