NACCHO Aboriginal Health #WorldKidneyDay #Organdonation :  Minister @KenWyattMP announces $2.3mill for @TSANZ_txsoc proposal to address inequity and launches report Improving Kidney Transplant Outcomes for our mob


” 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

PHOTO: Darwin dialysis patient Jacqueline Amagula would like to be waitlisted for a kidney transplant. (ABC News: Bridget Brennan)

Download copy of report

Kidney Transplantation 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

” 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,

Dr Lawton told 7.30.

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.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health What Works Part 2 : Our #ACCHO health service delaying need for dialysis treatment amid soaring demand


“If we don’t act now to learn the lessons from places like Danila Dilba and roll out this sort of work across the Territory effectively and know that its working, unfortunately we’ll see some of the numbers in the report for 2015, showing a 70 per cent increase in the next five or so years in dialysis,

As well as all of the challenges brings with social dislocation and a huge increase in cost in the health budget.”

Danila Dilba was also seeing a large number of patients who did not know they had kidney disease, which meant earlier treatment had resulted in preventing the need for dialysis all together.

“And thus potentially saving a lot of resources as well as heartache for patients and communities, particularly remote communities, as well as a lot of money for the Government,”

Dr Paul Lawton from The Menzies School of Health Research 

Photo: Patient Helen Salee talks to Dr Emma Fitzsimons at the kidney clinic. (ABC News: Lucy Marks)

“[The program] makes me feel better because I want to keep strong and healthy to see my grandchildren growing up,” Helen said.

Article Lucy Marks ABC NEWS

A kidney health program at a Top End health service is making inroads in the battle against dramatically rising numbers of patients with dialysis-dependency and renal failure.

The Menzies School of Health Research reviewed the program run at Aboriginal health service Danila Dilba in Darwin and found it was delaying the need for dialysis by 1.5 years, and improving the lives of those with advanced stages of the disease.

“We found that they’ve been very effective at reducing both the death rate and delaying progression of kidney disease towards needing dialysis,” Dr Paul Lawton from Menzies said.

The program works by integrating the management of chronic disease, coordinating treatments and empowering clients to improve their own health through lifestyle.

A key component lies in the way it is delivered to its Indigenous patients.

“Developing trust is very, very important. A lot of people are very terrified of the diagnosis of kidney disease, just like they are for diabetes,” clinic GP Dr Emma Fitzsimons said.

“We see cases of people really taking control of their health and becoming much, much stronger.”

Delma Hoat, 66, has had diabetes and various chronic diseases for more than two decades and her renal failure is managed by care at the clinic.

In her consultation with Dr Fitzsimons, she said “I reckon I might have another 10 years down, easy”, and her doctor responded “easy I reckon”.

“I met Emma, and that was it, I clicked with Emma. We seem to have something in common … the right story I guess,” Ms Hoat said.

It is the type of relationship which the Menzies School of Health Research said had proven to be key to successfully managing kidney disease.

Dialysis patient Delma Hoat

NT the frontline of kidney disease epidemic

The success is positive news in the Northern Territory, which has the highest rate of renal failure in the world and is faced with a projected rise in dialysis treatments in clinics of 70 per cent by 2022.

For Ms Hoat, despite having multiple chronic diseases and advanced renal failure, her quality of life is looking up.

“I can feel it already within me, I’m getting stronger I’m a happier person … we laugh, we go out, we’ll be able to go fishing soon once I get the machine at home,” she said.

Another 66-year-old patient, Helen Salee, is at an earlier stage of kidney disease and not yet on dialysis.

She said she had been coming to the clinic since 2005 when she developed kidney problems.

“[The program] makes me feel better because I want to keep strong and healthy to see my grandchildren growing up,” she said.

Find out a lot more examples of what works

see presenters list NACCHO Members Conference


1. NACCHO Interim 3 day Program has been release