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Doing well while doing good: compensating live organ donors will save lives and money
Wellington (21 September 2016): The New Zealand Initiative has offered its enthusiastic support for Chris Bishop’s member’s bill that will improve the compensation provided to live organ donors.
The Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, said, “Every live kidney transplant saves the government over $120,000 compared to leaving someone on dialysis. But the current system makes these donors face substantial out-of-pocket costs for time spent in recuperation.”
“These costs especially hit lower income families, who are both more likely to need transplants and less likely to be able to afford the time out of work necessary to help a loved one.”
Last year, The New Zealand Initiative released Compensation for Live Donors, by Elizabeth Prasad, which detailed how this kind of compensation would save both lives and money.
The Initiative’s submission on the bill called for compensation to be increased from the proposed 80% of lost earnings to 100%, for compensation to route through the Ministry of Health rather than through Work & Income, for donors not in employment to be compensated as though they were employed at the minimum wage, and for priority transplant queueing for live donors should they ever need a transplant.
“The bill as reported back from committee implements many of the changes we suggested, and we are very pleased with the outcome.”
“But, there is still work to be done. We hope that future legislative work will consider the Israeli example, where donors have priority access to transplants should they ever need one.”

Media contact:

Simone Evans, Communications Officer
The New Zealand Initiative
Phone: +64 4 494 9109
Mobile: +64 21 2937 250

About The New Zealand Initiative
The New Zealand Initiative is an evidence-based think tank and research institute, which is supported by a membership organisation that counts some of the country’s leading visionaries, business leaders and political thinkers among its ranks.
Our members are committed to developing policies to make New Zealand a better country for all its citizens. We believe all New Zealanders deserve a world-class education system, affordable housing, a healthy environment, sound public finances and a stable currency.
The New Zealand Initiative pursues this goal by participating in public life, and making a contribution to public discussions.
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