Why are Australia's organ donation rates so low?

Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Andy Park

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: At this very minute, in hospital wards and dialysis clinics around Australia, 1,583 Australians are on the waiting list for organ donation.

But donor rates remain disappointingly low, despite research saying Australia's one of the best funded countries in the world for organ donation.

7.30's been told that millions of dollars have been spent on advertising when it should have gone towards staff training.

There are claims the sector is bogged down in factional infighting and a government report is nowhere to be seen.

Andy Park has the story.

BRYAN MYERSON, ORGAN RECIPIENT: I was diagnosed in 1962 with juvenile onset diabetes. I'd just turned 11 years old, so it was like a death sentence. As a result of the diabetes, my kidneys were failing. It took a long time for them to eventually fail completely, what they call end-stage renal disease, and I went on dialysis in 1996, November, '96. So I went on the waiting list. Three years later, I got a phone call to say, "Bryan, we think we've got compatible organs for you. We will call you in the morning."

ANDY PARK, REPORTER: Bryan Myerson has been waiting for this day for more than 15 years. It's a day very few organ donation recipients ever get to experience. Continue reading