Alberta’s provincial government has announced a program to increase the number of organ donations and transplants in the province.
The Specialist in End-of-Life Care, Neuroprognostication and Donation (SEND) program will see $2 million in funding to train specialist physicians to identify incidences where organ donation is possible.
These physicians will be available 24/7, and will support families who have to consent in order for these donations to occur.
Alberta’s rate for deceased organ donation is among the lowest in the country, with 16.8 deceased donors per million in 2020. By comparison, B.C. had 21 per million, with 21.3 in Ontario.
SEND was introduced about a year ago, with 22 physicians already trained, and more expected in the coming months.
Highwood MLA RJ Sigurdson also appeared to speak about Bill 205, a private member bill written by Sigurdson and aimed at several facets of organ donation, including improving the registry process, and implementing a mandatory referral process wherein physicians must contact trained professionals toe valuate donor eligibility.
He says the bill will work in tandem with SEND.
“My private member’s bill, the Human Organ and Tissue Donation (Mandatory Referral) Act, 2022, will put in the necessary foundation to modernize and improve our organ and tissue donation system. The SEND program and combination with key components from Bill 205 bring an exponential positive impact towards tissue and organ donation that will ultimately reduce wait times for organ and tissue donations and help save lives.”
He worked with a few groups in developing the bill, Alberta ORGANization Group, the Kidney Foundation, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Liver foundation, Kidney foundation, and the Alberta Transplant Institute.
Those interested in registering as an organ donor can do so at ultimategiftalberta.ca or at a registry office.