A report published today shows a sharp increase in organ donation and transplantation in the EU during the course of the 2009-2015 Action Plan. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of organ donors increased from 12 000 to nearly 15 000 (a 21% increase). This surge in donation rates led to 4 600 additional transplant operations - from 28 100 in 2008 to 32 700 in 2015 (a 17% increase). Kidney transplants account for 60% of the increase, livers for 24% and hearts for 11%.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said "The news that thousands more people in the EU have benefited from the life-saving and life-transforming gift of organ donation warms my heart. It means the world to them, their families and friends. Credit for this achievement goes primarily to donors themselves, but also to national health authorities and healthcare professionals. I am also pleased that the Commission was able to play a role, adding value with the EU Action Plan which set a common agenda with clear priority actions for increasing transplant rates in all EU countries."
Spain, France, the UK, Poland and the Netherlands were the five countries with the highest increase in overall numbers, and Bulgaria, Lithuania, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia and Denmark saw the sharpest rise in the percentage of transplants. However, not all countries made progress. For example, rates decreased in Greece and Cyprus, as well as in Germany where transplant numbers fell by 20%.
Amongst other achievements, the Action Plan lead to the appointment of local coordinators for deceased donation and to registries being set up to monitor health of living donors. The Commission and national authorities continue to build on its momentum, through EU-funded actions, notably on awareness raising and improving transplant options for end-stage kidney failure.
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