INTERNATIONAL ORGAN DONATION NEWS - ALMOST A THIRD OF SCOTS ARE NOW REGISTERED ORGAN DONORS
Almost a third of Scots are now registered as organ donors.
Figures published on Thursday reveal the increase in those willing to donate after their death. However, as the number of people awaiting donors arrives, experts say they still need more people to come forward.
The Scottish Government is now investing £5.5 million towards meeting national recommendations.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "This report shows we are making substantial progress in putting in place the arrangements needed to make organ donation a usual event as part of end-of-life care. "In the past year there were 72 deceased donors in Scotland - the highest number for 10 years. The generosity of these donors means that around 500 people have had their lives saved or transformed by a new organ or tissue."
Chair of the Scottish Transplant Group, John Forsythe, said: "It is clear that the Scottish population has responded to the massive need for organ transplantation with individuals expressing their wish to consider organ donation by adding their names to the organ donor register, this is up 17 per cent since 2007.
"In addition families have demonstrated a great act of generosity in authorising the act of donation at a time of tragedy in their lives. "However there is still much work to be done. Over 800 Scottish residents await a life saving transplant and sadly too many people still die whilst on the waiting list." A national public advertising campaign to encourage more people to sign up to the register is due to be launched in early 2010.
Ms Sturgeon added: "We do not underestimate that challenge, but we are determined to rise to it to stop people dying for lack of a donated organ."