Organ Donation in Victoria

Written on the 29 March 2012

I am also pleased to make a few comments in relation to this very important matter. I also acknowledge the committee members, the great work of the secretariat staff and most importantly all those witnesses who provided submissions and gave evidence to the inquiry. Some very extraordinary personal accounts were given that made the understanding of organ donation far more worthy for all members.


A number of issues emerged -- funding and resourcing is one -- but what also came out in this inquiry is that Victoria is the leader in the field in this area. It undertakes services for a number of jurisdictions, including Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand, and I think that is an important issue to take note of.


There is also the issue of the complexity of transplantation services. This is not just a one-off, acute act; it involves very sick patients, and the major institutions that undertake transplantation services have teams of personnel involved in the process, notwithstanding those families of the donors and the traumatic and emotional experiences they are going though. There are teams of surgeons, physicians, intensivists, nurse coordinators, theatre nurses, social workers and translators -- there are many people involved in this -- and these institutions have to make decisions in relation to the other major traumas and the emergency admissions they are dealing with. That requires planning from not only administrative staff but also the clinical staff in relation to how they handle the cases and what they are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Those institutions do a tremendous job; they juggle lots of priorities. It is at times a very unpredictable and fluid situation, so I acknowledge that. I also urge all within the chamber to consider registering on the organ donor register.

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