I therefore feel honoured to have a friend who not just had the guts to give someone one of his kidneys, but also lobbied the Australian Government for a long time to provide practical financial assistance to living kidney and liver organ donors.
(As a Monty Python fan from way back, graphic images of the ‘The Meaning of Life’ film spring to mind – ‘Can we have your liver?’ ‘I’m still using it!’)
My friend’s persistence finally paid off with the commencement of a two year pilot scheme last month.
The scheme provides up to six weeks paid leave at the minimum wage to employees to cover loss of income incurred during their recovery. Payment is made via employers to avoid the risk of encouraging illegal trade in human organs.
In particular, we would like to recognise the efforts and hard work of Mr Lloyd Woodford, himself a live donor, who both independently and with Kidney Health Australia has advocated for a scheme of this nature.*
Clearly public servants should not underestimate the skills they have in policy development and understanding government decision-making processes. We can achieve significant changes in any field – not just the area in which we work.
For details of the scheme, visit: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/Leave-for-living-organ-donors.
Photo credit: © Pavalache Stelian | Dreamstime.com