More Australians are having their lives transformed through organ donation than ever before, according to Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash.
In 2013, organ donation rates across Australia reached an all-time high since records began in 1989.
The record was revealed via figures released by the Australian and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry (ANZOD) and the Organ and Tissue Authority on January 29.
"Australia achieved solid growth in donation rates, with 2013 representing a 58 per cent increase over 2009 data, when the DonateLife Network was established," Ms Nash said.
During the same time period, the number of transplant recipients increased by 39 per cent.
Thanks to the generosity of almost 400 organ donors and their families, more than 1,100 Australians received a second chance at life in 2013.
"The families of organ and tissue donors are to be thanked and commended for upholding the decision of their loved one and giving others the gift of life," said Ms Nash.
As part of the national reform programme, the DonateLife Network was established in 2009. This scheme involved bringing together donation agencies, patients and healthcare professionals across all states and territories in Australia.
"The growth in donation and transplantation outcomes since 2009 has resulted in an additional 314 Australians, or one in four transplant recipients, receiving a transplant out of the 1,122 total transplant recipients in 2013," Ms Nash said.
Comparatively, between 2000 and 2008 there was an average of just 200 donors each year. In 2013, there were almost twice that number (391 donors).
This result proves the DonateLife Network has succeeded in its primary goal to increase organ and tissue donation across Australia.
Because of the delicate nature of organ donation, Ms Nash has urged all Australians to discuss their intentions with family members.
"Only around 1 per cent of people die under the specific circumstances in hospital, where organ donation is possible, with many more having the opportunity to donate tissue. It is up to families to ultimately give final confirmation for organ and tissue donation to proceed," she said.
"By speaking with your family today, and letting them know your donation decisions, you could help save the lives of up to ten people in the future."
In addition to discussing your donation intentions, families are also encouraged to review their health insurance policies.
Regular assessment of your private health insurance will ensure you are not surprised by an unexpected gap in your cover when you require medical treatment.
For more information, contact the specialist health insurance brokers at HICA today.