When renewing their driver’s licence, Albertans will soon be asked if they wish to register to be an organ and tissue donor.
This is the next 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.
“Becoming an organ and tissue donor is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Every individual who consents to donate may save up to eight lives and improve the quality of life for up to 75 more, and that’s why we’ve worked with registry agents to ensure Albertans will have the opportunity to register as a donor at registry agents across the province.”
In the coming weeks, Albertans will have the opportunity to register their intent when they renew or apply for their driver’s licence or identification card.
“By letting Albertans register their consent to donate at registry offices, we expect to increase donation rates in Alberta. By the end of June, about half of registry agents will be on board, and all registries can provide the service before next April.”
Since the online Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry launched at the end of April, more than 4,100 Albertans have registered their consent to become donors.
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.
Work is ongoing to establish a single provincial 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.
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.