This release was issued under a previous government.

The registry is the first step in the government’s plan to increase organ and tissue donor rates in Alberta, which have dropped by nearly 40 per cent over the last decade.

“One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is donating our organs and tissues. With more than 500 Albertans waiting for an organ transplant and many more waiting for tissues, registering your consent to donate on the new donor registry can make a profound difference in someone’s life.”

Fred Horne, Minister of Health

The new online registry is quick and easy to use, and provides Albertans with a record of their consent to donate. Those who register are strongly encouraged to talk with their families about their wishes.

Next steps for organ donation in Alberta include making the online donor registry available to registry agents this spring, giving Albertans the opportunity to register their intent when they renew or apply for their driver’s licence or other identification.

Work is ongoing to establish a single agency to co-ordinate organ and tissue donations in Alberta. The Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Agency will co-ordinate and support the work of donation organizations, promote public awareness of organ and tissue donation and work with Alberta Health Services and health professional associations to educate the public and health care professionals about organ and tissue donation. The agency will also manage the registry, encourage its use and monitor and report on Alberta’s performance in organ and tissue donation.

These changes follow the proclamation of Bill 207, the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Amendment Act, on November 8, 2013.

The need for organs and tissues in Alberta

According to Canadian Institute for Health Information data for 2012, Alberta reported the following active transplant waitlists (active means the person is able to receive a transplant at any time):

  • Heart: 23 patients
  • Lung (either a single or double lung): 67 patients
  • Liver: 106 patients
  • Kidney: 309 patients

One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and improve the lives of up to 75 other people.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.