Press Release

Minister Reilly announces funding of €150,000 to the Irish Kidney Association to promote their Donor Awareness Service

Dr James Reilly, Minister of Health today (Monday 26th March, 2012) in launching National Organ Donation Week, said he was pleased to confirm continued support for this year’s Irish Kidney Association campaign by providing a grant of €150,000 from National Lottery funds. The Minister stated that “I am very pleased to say that we are making funding available from lottery funding for the Irish Kidney Association to promote their Donor Awareness Service and support the great work they do in terms of supporting those who are awaiting transplants and indeed encouraging others to be donors.”

The Minister acknowledged that the health service faces many challenges including the increasing demand for organs for transplantation. He congratulated the Irish Donor Network for its continued efforts to raise awareness of the need for organ donation and said that transplantation adds years of life as well as quality of life to organs recipients. Ironically, however, its success, has led to organ shortages in Ireland and throughout Europe, and so heightens the need for more donations and transplant procedures to be undertaken.

The Minister said “transplantation is financially, ethically and morally the right thing to do. More transplants will reduce the number of people on dialysis and lead to much better life prospects for those individuals”. The Minister added “not alone can this save lives but can improve the quality of life hugely and also is financially viable given the cost of a transplant against the cost of maintaining a patient on dialysis for a year”.

The Organ Donation and Transplantation programme depends on the generosity and altruism of the families of those who have died. He commended the generosity of the families who must make the decision to donate at a very difficult time so that others can be given a second chance at life.