(Australian Associated Press)
More than 10,000 Australians have benefited from a lifesaving program to increase organ and tissue donation since 2009.
Back then, the number of deceased organ donors was 247, compared to 510 last year.
Figures released by the Organ and Tissue Authority on Tuesday show the number of recipients has grown by 75 per cent, with more than 1400 Australians receiving a transplant from a deceased donor in 2017.
Less than two per cent of Australians who die in hospital can become an organ donor because special circumstances are required.
Last year, of the more than 76,000 deaths in hospital only 1192 potential donors were identified.
In the end, 510 deceased organ donors provided transplants to 1402 recipients.
There were also 273 living donors in 2017, with all but two offering a kidney.
Federal minister Ken Wyatt, who has responsibility for organ donation, welcomed the progress made to save lives.
“In 2017, the number of transplant recipients from deceased organ donors under the national program since system reforms began in 2009 passed the 10,000 mark,” he said.
But he insists there is more work to be done to increase the rate of donors in comparison to the population.
“I have written to all jurisdictional health ministers highlighting the need for ongoing collaboration,” he said.
Tasmania led the way last year with the highest rate of donors per million population, followed by Victoria.
DONORS BY STATES IN 2017:
Queensland – 105 donors
NSW – 135 donors
Victoria – 148 donors
South Australia – 32 donors
Western Australia – 54 donors
Tasmania – 19 donors
NT – 3 donors
ACT – 14 donors