Western Bay of Plenty residents are being asked to donate their organs as the Government campaigns to raise the rate of donors.
Bay of Plenty MP and Health Minister Tony Ryall says 186 people received transplants last year but many more are still on the waiting list.
Of those waiting to receive organ transplants, 600 are just for new kidneys.
Organ donation saves the lives of people with severe heart, lung and liver disease, and improves the length and quality of lives of people with kidney and pancreas failure, says Tony.
“We are investing $2 million over four years to increase training and support for intensive care health professionals to identify dying patients who might become donors and giver greater support to their families.
Tony says the Government is also investing another $1.75 million to increase live organ donation by employing dedicated staff who can support and guide family and friends while they make the decision to become donors.
“Some patients requiring a transplant will have a family member or friend willing to donate an organ, such as a kidney, but because of different blood or tissue types they are incompatible.
“So we’re spending a further $250,000 to explore the option of establishing a national donor exchange scheme, where we can mix and match several incompatible donor and recipient pairs together so each recipient gets a compatible donor.”
Tony hopes to give many more people who need a transplant, renewed lives and reduce expensive health care costs.
“Despite tight financial times, the Government has made $435 million available for Vote Health in 2012/13 bringing the total spend to $14.12 billion.
“This demonstrates the National Government’s commitment to protecting and growing public health services.”