Indigenous Australians with kidney disease facing systematic transplant bias: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-13 09:56:59|Editor: Liu
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CANBERRA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A major review has found that indigenous Australians in need of a kidney transplant face "untenable" systematic bias.

Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt released the findings of the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday night, telling News Corp Australia that there is "barely" an indigenous family not affected by kidney disease.

According to the report, indigenous Australians are 10 times less likely to be added to the waiting list for a kidney transplant than non-indigenous Australians.

Approximately 13 percent of patients undergoing dialysis treatment are indigenous despite the nation's native people representing only 3.3 percent of the total population.

"It is untenable that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in need are having kidney and organ transplants at only about 25 percent of non-indigenous people," Wyatt told News Corp.

"Our people are nine times as likely as non-indigenous Australians to be receiving kidney dialysis and there is barely a family who is not affected by the devastation of renal disease," Wyatt said.

The report prioritized three of its 35 recommendations, including the establishment of a National Indigenous Kidney Transplant taskforce, but acknowledged there was "no easy fix" for the problem.

Wyatt announced 2.3 million Australian dollars (1.62 million U.S. dollars) in funding to increase the number of indigenous kidney transplant recipients.

"I have the pleasure of launching a significant report in improving access to organ and tissue donation," he said in a statement.

"But also the establishment of a national task force that will undertake work to look at, what the obstacles are, what are the challenges and considerations we need to make in the way in which people access the transplant list, but also the operations that follow," he said.