Supporting organ donation is now easier thanks to a new partnership between BC Transplant and the 61 Service BC locations throughout the province, the provincial government announced Tuesday.
Beginning April 1, 2015, British Columbians visiting Service BC locations have been offered the opportunity to register their decision on organ donation.
Currently, more than 95 per cent of British Columbians support organ donations but only 20 per cent have registered their decision to be a donor, the Ministry of technology, innovation and citizens stated in a press release, adding the program will make it easier for those who have yet to sign up.
Service BC centres are central offices where British Columbians can access a wide range of government services, such as registering your marriage or the birth of a child, or conducting a title search.
Offering visitors information about organ donation, and assisting those interested in confirming their intention by registering online is a valuable service to B.C. residents.
This new partnership, which was initiated last year under the leadership of MLA Greg Kyllo from Shuswap, builds on last year’s successful pilot program held at four Service BC offices in Dawson Creek, Quesnel, Port Alberni and Salmon Arm.
The pilot program showed a four-fold increase in the number of registrations than in the same period the previous year. Building on this success, the Province immediately began working with BC Transplant to expand the program to all 61 Service BC locations throughout the province.
With 465 citizens on the transplant waiting list, signing up to become an organ donor could help save lives — possibly the life of a neighbour, co-worker, friend or family member in need. This program will allow British Columbians to step forward, register and potentially change the life of a patient in need.
“Organ donation saves lives, and registering your decision with Service BC is a simple, small step anyone can do. Having 61 locations throughout the province makes it easier to access government services and this is one service that can save the lives of British Columbians,” said Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services Amrik Virk.
Health Minister Terry Lake said organ donation is one of the greatest gifts that can be given.
“Today’s announcement that British Columbians will be able to register at any Service BC location makes signing up even more accessible. In honour of the upcoming National Organ and Tissue Awareness Week, I encourage those that haven’t yet registered to take advantage of this new convenient opportunity.”
BC Transplant provincial executive director Dr. Greg Grant said his organization is thrilled with the early results of the pilot with Service BC and looks forward to the long term impact the partnership will have on organ donation in B.C.
Of the 465 people waiting for transplants, just over 350 of the people on the list are waiting for a kidney. A single donor can save up to eight lives, the press release noted.
“A decal on your driver’s licence is no longer enough, a potential donor has to register online through BC Transplant Society using a BC Services Card or CareCard at http://www.transplant.bc.ca/.”