Life will be easier for people who donate organs thanks to the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill which passed into law last night.
National List MP based in the Hutt Valley Chris Bishop is delighted that his Member’s Bill, the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill, has passed its third and final reading in Parliament unanimously.
“Live organ donors are heroes, but the status quo is manifestly unfair. These donors are compensated at the equivalent of the sickness benefit while they recuperate after their operation, even though their actions save lives, save taxpayers money, and contribute to a better and healthier New Zealand,” Mr Bishop said.
“My Bill will mean that live organ donors receive compensation of 100 per cent of their earnings for up to 12 weeks after the operation. It also allows for pre-operation compensation in some circumstances.”
During his speech Mr Bishop paid tribute to Lower Hutt woman Sharon van der Gulik and her grandson Matt, who inspired him to take the Bill up upon being elected to Parliament in late 2014.
“Mrs van der Gulik approached me at a public meeting in the Hutt during the 2014 election campaign and told me about how her grandson had donated a kidney to her, but was struggling financially after the surgery,” Mr Bishop said.
“I promised her that if I were privileged to be elected, I would look at taking up her cause.
“New Zealand needs to improve its organ donation rates. One big barrier to donation is the financial sacrifice that people are currently required to make while they take time off work for the surgery and recovery.
“The Bill adopts a cost neutrality approach, as in the United Kingdom, and means that people will be neither better or worse off from having donated. This should see more people choosing to donate.
“This will be good for recipients of organs, and also good for taxpayers. Research clearly shows that there are large fiscal gains for taxpayers from increased support for organ donors.
“This is a great day for organ donors in New Zealand.”
Bishop’s speech is here.
I happened to be driving home from Christchurch when the car radio picked up the debate on the second reading of Chris Bishop’s Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill.
The speeches provided a wonderful example of parliament and politicians at their best – non-partisan support for a bill which will help those in need of an organ, ensure donors aren’t out of pocket for donating and also save public money.
Passing the Bill ends the unfairness of donors being penalised for their altruism, it is a positive move for those needing organs and those who donate to them and the multi-party support for the measure shows parliament at its best.