Page 829 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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and tissue donation processes. This funds the doctors and nurses in 74 hospitals to work specifically on organ and tissue donation.

In times gone by, it was a thing that medical specialists and nurses did in addition to their own duties, often being managed out of the intensive care unit. This has given capacity for specialised staff to be available should a person come to the hospital and that decision has to be made by their family.

We have fully implemented the national reform package here in the ACT and the organ donation rates have been gradually improving from four multi-organ donors in 2006, to five in 2008, eight in 2009, 10 in 2010, and in 2011 there were eight organ donors and their families in the ACT. Twenty-four people received live-saving transplants.

As I noted earlier, 12 families gave the very generous gift of life to 30 grateful recipients through organ donation. I think it is for those families that we acknowledge and respect the decision and thank them very much for their generous gift of life.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what are the main reasons that people do not donate their organs and what can be done?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. I think the main reason is that often people are unsure about the wishes of the individual donor, and that is where the focus of the national reform package has been—on raising awareness, educating the community, making it easy to register to be a donor and making sure that those decisions, once made, are respected at the hospital level.

But I think overwhelmingly, when you talk to families who have been put in the position of making that decision, and I have spoken to a number of them over the years, the decision is made so much easier when they are aware of what their loved one’s wishes would be. Again, as leaders in the community, we can encourage in our material that goes out to the electorate and in our discussions with the community the importance of organ donation, and certainly lead by example and make sure that we are all on the organ donation registry.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. In the draft report released yesterday by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission, it states:

An unregulated monopoly service provider may abuse its market power by charging prices for its services that are higher than necessary.

Treasurer, has ACTEW abused its market power by charging prices for its services that are higher than necessary?

MR BARR: I draw Mr Smyth’s attention to the opening few words of his quote—“an unregulated monopoly” provider. ACTEW is regulated by the ICRC.

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