Low Rate of Kidney Donations / Ireland's Biosphere status
Thursday, 22 October 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: The figures that were published yesterday by the Irish Kidney Association on organ donation transplants in Ireland were quite startling. They show that Ireland had a record of 13% last year but in the UK, it was 20%, in France, it was 24%, in Portugal, it was 28%, and in Spain and Croatia, it was 36%.We have totally failed in this area and to a large extent this failure has occurred because we have been concentrating on an opt-out approach to organ donation...

It is fairly clear from the Irish Kidney Association and others to say that it is not just a question of having a different opt-out facility. We need to have the right number of transplant co-ordinators available in hospitals. That is the big difference. The Government should be able to do something about this because it is a comparatively easy decision to make. There should be transplant co-ordinators in hospitals to enable organ donations to take place. On that basis, it is worthy of consideration and another debate in this House. We had a Bill and an opportunity to do something on organ donation in this House some years ago. This has happened more than once. However, I do not think the figures were as blunt and as bad as they are on this occasion.

Will the Acting Leader arrange a debate on the biosphere status which has been achieved recently by the city of Dublin? This mainly concerns Dublin Bay and the opportunities it presents in the years ahead. It has been shown that practically none of the primary and secondary level students in the city have had the chance to get out on a boat in Dublin Bay, and yet a huge number of jobs connected with the bay are likely to arise in the years ahead. We have achieved biosphere status and this gives us the opportunity to create these jobs.

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