The Australian Medical Association today congratulated the Rudd Government on its multi-million dollar proposal to assist in the organ transplant rate in Australia.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said the answer to the organ transplant problem was not just about increasing the number of donations.
"The Government's new funding of $136.4 million goes a long way towards ensuring that more organ transplants actually can take place," she said.
The AMA has been calling for an investment in doctors and capital infrastructure in this area for some time.
"It is very pleasing to see the Government has provided additional resources such as more hospital beds, equipment, and doctors in order for organ harvesting and organ transplantation to occur.
"This, of course, is in addition to the importance of providing more public education and counselling."
Dr Capolingua today called on the State and Territory Governments to formally back the proposal when the Prime Minister takes the package to tomorrow's COAG meeting.
"It is important that all levels of government come on board with this plan. Even today, the lives of around 1,800 Australians are in the balance as they wait for a transplant.
"Every new organ donor can make a real difference.
"Up to ten people can receive organs and tissue from just one donor. That's ten lives that benefit because of just one person.
"The Government is now investing in the essential tools and resources to enable this to happen," she said.
The AMA has been very active in raising public awareness and campaigning for an increase in organ donation for some time.
The AMA looks forward to continuing to work with governments to improve the rates of organ donation for transplantation.
"During Organ Donation Week in February this year, the AMA campaigned to encourage family members to talk about organ donation and provide advice and support to doctors who are involved in discussing this very difficult issue with the families," Dr Capolingua said.