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More than 1,200 people in Belgium waiting for donor organs

22:59 14/08/2017

There are more than 1,200 people in Belgium waiting for a suitable organ donor, despite the increasing number of registered donors. A bill has been introduced that would reduce the waiting time by enabling registration via the GP, writes Bruzz.

Some patients wait years for an organ transplant, or even die before they can be helped. However, the number of registered donors in Belgium has only increased in recent years, according to figures from health minister Maggie De Block.

The figures show that there were 32,557 registered donors in 2005, compared to 229,889 in April 2016. Moreover, the number of Belgians who officially opted out of organ donation has remained constant in recent years. In 2016, there were 189,301.

While the number of official donors is on the rise, there is still a shortage. Parties CD&V and N-VA, which filed the bill, advocate making it possible for people to register with their general physicians. Donor registration is currently done via the commune.

The transplantation laws in Belgium assume that everyone is a donor unless they explicitly refuse through registration. Family members can also protest, which makes official registration even more important.

Written by Robyn Boyle