Organ donors stay offline

Local | Riley Chan 9 Apr 2018

Locals are failing to come to grips with online organ donation and even transplant recipients and their families have not registered as donors, a survey has found.

This may be a reflection of how the government's promotion of organ donation and online registration have failed to reach the elderly, said the Hong Kong Transplant Sports Association, which interviewed 293 organ recipients and their families last month about their willingness to be organ donors.

While 79 percent said they were willing to donate, 65 percent had yet to register as donors.

About one third said they were too busy to do so while 44 percent said they did not know how to register online.

Honorary president Chau Ka-foon said the result was shocking.

"It's hard to imagine there are still so many people who do not know how to use the internet. We have to reflect on whether the registration process is too complicated," the doctor said when announcing details of this year's Hong Kong Transplant and Dialysis Games.

Undersecretary for Food and Health Chui Tak-yi said the government was happy to explore any suggestions that could spread the message across the SAR.

He added that citizens who do not know how to register online could either fax or mail the application instead.

There are over 2,000 patients waiting for organ transplants in Hong Kong, but only 100 to 110 of the 40,000 who die of brain stem death each year are suitable for organ donation.

Chui said the government is studying legislation on cross donation, and hopefully the legislative process could be completed this year.

The Games will be held on November 3 and 4 at Tseung Kwan O Sports Centre, TKO Swimming Pool and TKO Sports ground.

The organizer expects 600 participants.

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