Federal budget 2017: Hopes 'transplant tourism' will drop with extension of organ donor support program

Dr Martin says desperation and misinformation is driving Australians to 'transplant tourism'. Reuters: Jianan Yu
There are hopes Australians going overseas in search of black market organs will plummet with the extension of a Federal Government program supporting living organ donors.

Health Minister Greg Hunt unveiled an extra $4.1 million in last night's budget to continue the Government's Supporting Leave for Living Organ Donors program.

The program reimburses businesses for giving pay or leave to workers who take time off to recover from organ donation, which may be up to several months.

Deakin University bioethicist Dominique Martin said this could impact the number people who take part in "transplant tourism", the practice of travelling to other countries for harvested organs.

"Organ trafficking happens for various reasons but the foremost of them is the lack of timely access to transplants domestically," Dr Martin said.

"Providing this to living donors in Australia will hopefully facilitate more living donor transplants and discourage people from seeking transplants overseas." Continue reading

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