In 2014, 251 transplants were carried out in Ireland. This was facilitated by 63 deceased donors and 40 living kidney donors. There will always be fluctuations in the number of organs donated from deceased donors on an annual basis but I am working to ensure that the necessary steps are being taken to encourage donation where the opportunity arises.
An extra allocation of €2.9 million has been made available to the HSE to facilitate an increase in the levels of organ donation and transplantation, largely through the appointment of 19 whole-time-equivalent personnel. The appointees will include consultants, organ donation nurse managers, organ procurement officers and quality officers. They will work to foster a strong culture of organ donation, optimise conversion rates and ultimately increase the number of transplantations that are carried out each year. Nine of these posts have been filled to date and it is expected that all posts will be filled over the coming months.
Legislative proposals to give effect to the opt-out system of consent are being progressed and it is hoped to finalise the Heads of a Bill this year.