Boosting Organ Donations, Saving Lives

    McGuinty Government Launches New Strategy To Support Living Donors

    TORONTO, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced the
Ontario government is investing $4 million in a comprehensive new plan to
boost organ donations and save lives.
    "Too many Ontarians face an agonizing wait for an organ that could save
their life," said Premier McGuinty. "We want to do everything we can to help
boost organ donation so more Ontarians get the second chance at life that they

    The government's organ donation strategy will:

    -  Help connect living donors with compatible recipients with a new
       living donor database
    -  Improve public awareness through investments in public education,
       including a youth-focused campaign
    -  Provide funding to reimburse living donors for pre-approved expenses,
       such as accommodation, meals, travel and lost income, and
    -  Provide hospitals with information identifying people who wish to
       donate their organs after death. This will help ensure those
       individuals' organ donation wishes are known and respected.

    "Organ donation saves hundreds of lives each year across Ontario, yet
there are not enough available donors to meet the demand for organ
transplants," said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. "Our
made-in-Ontario Organ Donation Strategy will make the province's organ
donation system more effective so we can save more lives in the future,
particularly through support for living donations."
    The new organ donation strategy is guided by recommendations made by the
Citizens Panel on Increasing Organ Donations. The McGuinty government
established the panel in 2006 to survey the public on their views about organ
donation and ways to improve and increase organ donation. The panel released
its final report in April 2007.
    "We are delighted the government has moved so quickly in response to our
report," said Dr. Ted Boadway, Chair of the Citizens Panel on Increasing Organ
Donations. "Ontarians on waiting lists for organ transplants will have a new
chance at life."
    "This is a great day for people on the waiting list for an organ
transplant and for potential living donors," said Frank Markel, President and
CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. "This new strategy will improve
communication with potential living organ donors and those waiting so that
more donations and transplantations can occur, and, save more lives."
    The government's organ donation strategy is just one more example of how,
working together, Ontarians have achieved results in health care services
across the province. Other initiatives include:

    -  $10.4 million in additional funding for 2007-08 for hospitals to
       support organ transplantation across Ontario
    -  Implementing Routine Notification and Request - a strategy requiring
       Ontario's hospitals to report all deaths to Trillium Gift of Life
       Network, allowing it to take the necessary steps to determine if an
       organ donation is possible, and
    -  Providing hospitals with the funds needed for screening, assessment
       and surgery of living liver and kidney donors.

    "Thousands of Ontarians have already made the courageous step of giving
the most powerful gift of all - the gift of life," said Premier McGuinty.
"We're going to keep working with Ontarians and our health care partners to
increase organ donation so we can save even more lives."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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