Matte Story - New Organ Donation Strategy to Increase Access to Life-Saving Transplants

    TORONTO, Aug. 16 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government has announced a new plan
to increase organ donation rates across the province, and save lives.
    The new strategy aims to increase the number of living donors to help
ease the wait time for transplants currently faced by over 1700 people.
    "We recognize that there are a rising number of patients in Ontario who
need access to transplants," said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George
Smitherman. "Our new organ donation strategy will help to increase the number
of donors and make the donation system more effective so we can save more
    A key part of the McGuinty government's plan is to increase the number of
donations from living donors by providing stronger financial supports. The
plan proposes to provide funding to reimburse living donors for pre-approved
expenses, such as accommodation, meals, travel and day care for children. The
strategy also aims to consider implementing legislation that, if passed, would
provide employment security for living donors.
    The new 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.
    "We can increase the number of organ donations by making it easier for
people to become living donors," said Dr. Ted Boadway, Chair of the Citizens
Panel on Increasing Organ Donations. "Implementing this plan means that
Ontarians on waiting lists for organ transplants will have a new chance at
    The $4 million plan also includes measures to improve the collection and
sharing of information that identifies people who expressed their wishes to
donate their organs after death and a public awareness campaign primarily
targeted at youth.

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