Foreigners urged to state ‘yes or no’ on organ donor register

Some 74,000 people who moved to the Netherlands around three years ago have been sent a letter by the health ministry asking them to register their names in the donor register.

The mailing was sent as part of Donor Week, which runs until October 20. The week-long campaign is to encourage people to state whether or not they would like to donate their organs after their death or if they would like someone else to take that decision for them.

This year the ministry and the Dutch Transplant Society are paying particular attention to new arrivals, with dedicated website pages and a targeted publicity campaign.

Donor week kicks off with a live broadcast via YouTube featuring Dutch celebrities campaigning for people to register. Last year, the week-long campaign generated 38,000 new registrations.

The Netherlands has around 5.6 million registered donors and a waiting list of some 1,300 patients. For instance, someone needing a kidney transplant can wait four years until a suitable kidney becomes available.

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