Organ donations in Greece rise by 30 pct in 2019

Greece trails behind other European countries in organ donations, the Athens Medical Association (AMA) said on Thursday, but donation is on the rise.

At an event ahead of Friday’s national organ donation day, the AMA speakers said that the average European country has 18 donors per million residents, while in Greece the ratio is 4.8 donors per million. In addition, the average waiting rate for a kidney transplant in particular is 6.5 years, with 60 pct of kidney patients dying before a transplant is found.

Expenditures by the national health care system (EOPYY) for travel abroad for transplantation between 2012 and 2015 totalled 35 million euros, at an average cost of 150,000-200,000 euros per patient. Domestically, moreover, over 65 pct of Greeks are inadequately informed about organ donation and transplantation, the presenters said.

The National Organ Donation and Transplantation Day on November 1 was established by the National Organization of Transplants, to make the public more aware of the issue.

According to its data, there were 51 donors throughout Greece in 2016, 67 in 2017, 45 in 2018, and from the start of 2019 to the present, 53 donors.

The transplant organization’s president, Andreas Karabinis, thanked families who gave their deceaseds’ organs to others. “During 2019, to the present day, there was a 30 pct increase in the number of organ donations in our country, and this proves the growing awareness and response of society to such a sensitive issue. Families who have donated organs have given a second chance at life to 140 of our fellow citizens,” he said.