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The shortage of kidneys for transplantation in Australia

Timothy Mathew, Randall Faull and Paul Snelling
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (5): 204-205.
Published online: 7 March 2005

Desperate people seek desperate remedies

The treatment alternatives available to Australians with endstage kidney failure are dialysis, transplantation or no active treatment. The last of these options allows kidney failure to progress spontaneously to uraemia and death. Over the past decade the number of Australians on dialysis has grown by 6% per annum, adding an additional $25 million yearly to healthcare expenditure.1 This growth is caused by both increasing numbers of people entering dialysis programs and a low rate of transplantation because of a shortage of donor kidneys. Kidney availability in Australia remains low and, if anything, is worsening, with only 6.8% of those on dialysis receiving transplants in 2002, compared with 11.7% a decade earlier.1

  • Timothy Mathew1
  • Randall Faull2
  • Paul Snelling3

  • 1 Kidney Health Australia, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA.
  • 3 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.

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