People who donate a kidney while still living should be entitled to free healthcare for life, says the healthcare council RVZ.
In a report into stimulating organ donation financially, the RVZ says in terms of both moral and practical considerations, a financial boost to encourage organ donation is ‘worth considering’.
At the moment it is illegal for a living donor to donate a kidney for money. The waiting list for a new kidney is over four years, and the shortage means patients are increasingly turning to ‘the illegal trade in kidneys from living donors, with all the misunderstandings that entails,’ the RVZ says.
But giving a donor free health insurance would do the most to remove the feeling that organs are not something that should be paid for, the report says.
Another advantage is that people from poorer backgrounds would be encouraged to donate – over a lifetime the payouts could mount up to €40,000. Some 40% of kidney transplants in the Netherlands come from family members or partners.
The council has asked health minister Ab Klink to research the cost-effectiveness of its plans and to find out if the idea has popular support. Klink is due to present his plans to tackled the shortage of organ donors next March.
The issue of organ donation took centre stage in the Netherlands earlier this year when a tv show launched a spoof ‘win a kidney’ reality show competition.
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