Interesting "Voucher Scheme" spreading across America
The numbers are staggering. Because of a lack of donor kidneys, an average of 13 people die every day in the US while waiting for a transplant. There are more than 100,000 names on the kidney waiting list in the U.S. and another 30 million people with chronic kidney disease who are at risk of joining them. More than 85% of those on the waiting list in 2015 are still waiting.
The good news is that there were 17,878 kidney transplants in the U.S. last year, the most in a single year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. And the numbers may keep growing thanks to an innovative voucher program that started in 2014 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and is spreading across the country.
Here’s how it works: If you donate a kidney now, you will receive a voucher that a loved one could use to secure a kidney in the future. The Advanced Donation program is coordinated through the National Kidney Registry, which uses a national database to quickly and efficiently match donors and recipients.
The idea was approved by the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons in June, and has been sent to that group’s executive committee for formal approval. Ten hospitals across the country have so far joined UCLA to honor the voucher program. Donors currently need to go to one of these hospitals to receive a voucher but many other centers are expected to join.
From a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal, which gives more details. Let's hope this idea catches on.