Minister for Health welcomes record number of Lung Transplants in 2019

Press Release : 30th December 2019

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD today (December 30th) has today welcomed the announcement that 274 organ transplants were performed in Ireland in 2019.

Minister Harris said “Organ donation is among the most selfless gifts we can give one another.

“I sincerely thank the families of deceased donors who at a time of great tragedy found the strength to offer a new lease of life to many people.

“I can only imagine how difficult those decisions can be but I hope they can take some solace in the relief and joy brought to the organ recipients and their families and friends.

"This year marked our highest annual transplant performance for lung transplants."

Professor Jim Egan, Director of Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland said; "This year, we have been extremely grateful for the willingness of recipient and donor families to share their experiences of donation and transplant in order to encourage others to consider such an enormous gift.

“We are pleased to see the rate of organ donation and transplant in 2019 remain in line with last year. Organ donation continues to be a rare event; of 31,000 deaths each year in Ireland, we see an average of 80 multi organ donations per annum. This continues to reflect positively on the generosity of Irish society and the professionalism of the intensive care, surgical teams, medical and nursing staff who look after patients and their families.’’

Minister Harris also confirmed he intends to bring the Human Tissue Bill to Cabinet in early 2020. The Bill, which was published earlier this year, has undergone pre-legislative scrutiny and the Minister is awaiting a report of the outcome.

Minister Harris said; “This is a very important piece of legislation and it remains a priority for me. I await the Oireachtas committee’s report but it remains my intention to publish the Bill, by the end of Quarter 1 2020.“I also want to confirm an additional funding of €0.5m in 2020 to develop our National Organ Retrieval Service with a view to enhancing our current organ donation infrastructure to be comparable with best international standards.”

Minister Harris added; “This legislation will provide for a soft opt-out system. I would encourage people to have those conversations with their loved ones.

“Organ donation can be the gift of life for some people and I really hope families across the country can have these difficult conversations and help us to do everything we can to increase organ donation and save lives.”

ENDS

Last updated on: 30 / 12 / 2019