7 Apr 2013

Trial minimum wage payment for organ donors

12:49 pm on 7 April 2013

The federal government in Australia is to pay organ donors six weeks salary on the minimum wage for a trial period.

Employees will be paid up to $A606 per week for six weeks to help ease their medical costs.

"Living donors make an incredibly generous gift," said Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.

"Because the procedure to transplant an organ is not without risk to the donor, we want to ensure they are assisted during the recovery period after surgery."

The ABC reports the Government is committing $A1.3 million to trial the move for two years.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann said an average of 288 people donate an organ every year.

"More than 99% of living donations in Australia involve the donation of a kidney," he said.

Australian Medical Association of Queensland president Alex Markwell said the trial will take away some of the financial pressure during recovery.

"It's certainly not supposed to be compensation or anything other than some financial relief for the time taken off work," he said.

"I understand that it's only an option for people who are currently working and most people wouldn't have six weeks' worth of sick leave, so it provides some additional support."