(Australian Associated Press)
The number of Australian organ donors has doubled over the past decade, with more than 1500 people receiving donations and transplants last year.
But more people are being urged to register as donors, with 1400 Australians still in the queue for transplants.
There were 144 more beneficiaries of donations in 2018 than the year before, bringing the total to 1544, new data released by the Organ and Tissue Authority on Wednesday revealed.
That comes as the donor consent rate hit a record 64 per cent in the year, up from 59 per cent in 2017.
There were 554 Australians who gave organs in 2018.
This was more than a doubling of donors since the national program began in 2008.
Federal minister Ken Wyatt says there has clearly been “significant progress” but there is more Australians can do.
“With around 1400 Australians currently waitlisted for a transplant, and around 12,000 people on kidney dialysis, it is crucial that everyone thinks about donation, talks to their families and registers on the Australian Organ Donor Register,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Increasing our consent rate to 70 per cent would place Australia in the world’s top 10 performing countries and we are now within 6 per cent of achieving this goal.”
In Australia, people can register their intent to donate their organs or tissues but their families must confirm the decision after they die.
Mr Wyatt said three in four families say yes to a donation when a specialist provides them with support and information.
There are now more than 275 donation specialist nurses, doctors and support staff catering to 96 hospitals across Australia.