Healthcare in a complex system - How can patients navigate the transplant journey?
Transplantation is a life-saving procedure in the case of organ failure (e.g. end-stage renal disease). While there is an established clinical practice, the overall number of transplants performed is limited by the availability of organs. The European Union has been working towards improving the organ transplantation process and addressing the shortage of organs for transplantation.
In 2019, the EU passed a directive on the quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation. The directive sets out common quality and safety standards for the procurement, testing, preservation, and storage of organs across the EU Member States. The aim of this directive is to ensure that all organs used for transplantation meet high safety and quality standards.
The highest number of transplants are kidney transplants, followed by liver and heart transplants. According to data from the European Union, in 2021, there were over 36,000 organ transplants carried out in the EU, yet there were over 41,000 new patients registered on the waiting list. This suggests that many persons who need a transplant are still waiting for a suitable donor organ.
As the demand for organs exceeds the supply, some individuals may still die while waiting for a suitable donor organ to become available. This shortage is exacerbated by the reluctance of some individuals and families to donate organs, as well as the lack of an effective system for identifying potential donors. Another challenge is the lack of coordination and standardisation among EU Member States. This can lead to inconsistencies in the quality and safety of transplanted organs, and can also make it more difficult to share organs between countries.
Join this EURACTIV Hybrid Conference to discuss how to empower transplant patients, facilitating a meaningful dialogue between organ donors and their families, caregivers and transplant professionals. Questions to be discussed include:
- How can different stakeholders partner and not work in silos in order to improve the overall healthcare system and positively impact patient outcomes?
- How can transplantation be encouraged and included more in the global health discussion?
- How can we reduce the gaps for people who are waiting for a transplant?
- How can the shortage of available organs be overcome?
Brussels Network Office - International Press Centre
1 Bd Charlemagne // 2nd floor
Tomislav Sokol MEP
Substitute, Subcommittee on Public Health, European Parliament
Professor at Lund University
President of the European Kidney Patient’s Federation (EKPF) and Representative of Steering Committee, Patient Inclusion Initiatives ESOT, European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT)
Head of Global Medical Affairs, Chiesi
17:00 – 17:30 Registration of Participants
17:30 – 17:35 Welcome
17:35 – 17:50 Panellist statements
17:50 – 18:40 Discussion and Q&A
18:40 – 18:45 Closing statements
Despite the widespread belief that organ transplantation is a permanent solution, in most cases it is the start of another lifelong journey which needs to be carefully managed, as Professor Anna Forsberg found out through contact with patients and relatives.