Two months ago, we released a report tallying the benefits of better compensation for live organ donors. Currently, live donors are left substantially out of pocket for their gift due to recovery time away from work and uncompensated costs. But every transplant saves the Ministry of Health around $125,000.
This week we sent our submission to the Health Select Committee. We argue in support of Chris Bishop’s members’ bill, and that it be strengthened in the following ways:
- Compensate donors to 100% of lost earnings, with some upper-bound cap so we aren’t paying huge amounts for a very high earner’s kidney (where finances are unlikely to be a barrier to donation anyway);
- Route that compensation through the Ministry of Health rather than make donors go through Work & Income;
- Compensate those not in employment either as though they were in employment at the minimum wage, or at their last reported earnings were they recently in employment. Those not employed will still incur opportunity costs from donating and may be less able to provide services within the household;
- Live donors should receive a guarantee that, should they need a transplant, they will have priority place in the queue. They’ve already shortened the queue by one place by their gift.
I will be presenting at the committee in a couple of weeks. I also look forward to seeing what comes of the review of the cadaveric donation regime.
I talked a bit about it with Paul Henry the other morning. Apologies for that the video has some synch issues on the audio.