Hopes paid leave for organ donors will boost donations

A 24-MONTH plan to supply minimum wage to those workers donating their organs could change the lives of more than 1000 Australians waiting for a kidney transplant.

For those who have previously donated, the process often required them taking time off without pay.

The pilot scheme announced by Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek will give six weeks of paid leave on minimum wage for those who become live organ donors.

She told Meet the Press on Sunday willing donors needed time off work as they went through testing on the health of their organs.

If the tests goes well, that worker also required time to recover.

Kidney Health Australia chief Anne Wilson said foregoing a pay cheque often compounded the stress during an already difficult time.

Most living organ donors enlist to help family or friends, although "non-directed" donations to strangers will go to the most needy recipient.

In 2012, 606 Australians received kidney transplants from deceased donors, another 237 were donated from living donors but 1080 were still waiting for an organ.

Ms Wilson hoped the financial help could boost the number of live donations.

"Providing paid leave will help those who make the life saving decision to provide a kidney to a loved one," Ms Wilson said.


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