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Organ donation goes digital to lift numbers

Organ donor registration goes online
Photo: Organ donor registration goes online
Australians will soon be able to become organ donors online within 10 minutes without filling out paperwork, as the government tries to lift donor numbers.

The Turnbull government is overhauling the way Australians register to become organ donors, taking the process online in a bid to lift dismal registration rates.

Minister responsible for organ donation Fiona Nash says just seven per cent of Australians are registered organ donors - 1.8 million people in a population of 24 million.

Another 4.3 million people have signalled an intent to become donors but haven't followed through with the required paperwork.

Currently, would-be donors need to register online, wait for a form to arrive in the mail, fill that out, and return it.
Under the new system, they will be able to register online in less than 10 minutes.

"If this change results in the 4.3 million people who have previously signalled an intention to become an organ donor completing registration, we could quickly triple the donor pool and save more lives," Senator Nash said on Tuesday.

"Let's admire our organ donor heroes with the same passion we admire our stars in sport or music."

The new process gets underway in May and will be accompanied by an awareness campaign.

Senator Nash is urging Australians to sign up and make their wishes known to their families, with a DonateLife audit showing family consent rates climb from 42 per cent to 91 per cent when the deceased person has registered to be a donor.

There are 1600 Australians on the waiting list for an organ at any given time and 50 Australians die each year waiting for an organ.

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