Organ donations rise by 30% in Greece

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The Athens Medical Association (AMA) announced that organ donations in Greece have risen significantly, although the country still lags behind most European countries.

The announcement was mad at a AMA function ahead of Friday’s national organ donation day, with AMA speakers noting that the average European country has 18 donors per million residents, while in Greece the ratio is 4.8 donors per million. In addition, the average waiting rate for a kidney transplant in particular is 6.5 years, with 60% of kidney patients dying before a transplant is found.

The National Organ Donation and Transplantation Day on November 1 was established by the National Organisation of Transplants, to raise public awareness of the issue.

According to the National Organisation of Transplants, there were 51 donors throughout Greece in 2016, 67 in 2017, 45 in 2018, and from the start of 2019 to the present, 53 donors.

“During 2019, to the present day, there was a 30% increase in the number of organ donations in our country, and this proves the growing awareness and response of society to such a sensitive issue. Families who have donated organs have given a second chance at life to 140 of our fellow citizens,” said Andreas Karabinis, the transplant organization’s president.

Expenditures by the national health care system (EOPYY) for travel abroad for transplantation between 2012 and 2015 totalled 35 million euros, at an average cost of 150,000-200,000 euros per patient. Domestically, moreover, over 65% of Greeks are inadequately informed about organ donation and transplantation, the presenters said.