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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 98, Issue 6, pp 481–483 | Cite as

Current Canadian Initiatives to Reimburse Live Organ Donors for their Non-Medical Expenses

  • Sorina Vlaicu
  • Scott Klarenbach
  • Robert C. Yang
  • Todd Dempster
  • Amit X. Garg
Commentary

Abstract

Living organ donors frequently incur non-medical expenses for travel, accommodation, prescription drugs, loss of income, and child care in conjunction with organ donation. Despite international precedent and widespread public support, Canada currently lacks a unified strategy to reimburse donors for these expenses. In 2005, we communicated with 78 individuals within the field of Canadian transplantation to identify which initiatives for reimbursement of living donors existed in each province. Saskatchewan was the only province in which public employees were granted paid leave for organ donation. Six provincial governments partially reimbursed travel and accommodation. At the federal level, other expenses could be partially reimbursed through an income tax credit, while the Employment Insurance program and the Canada Pension Plan provided funding for donors who become unemployed or develop longterm disability as a result of donation. Charities helped a limited number of patients in financial need through grants and no-interest loans, but funding was generally limited by contributions received. While reimbursing living donors for their non-medical expenses is considered just, existing programs only partially reimburse expenses and are not available in all provinces. Developing future reimbursement policies will remove a disincentive faced by some potential donors, and may increase rates of transplantation in Canada.

MeSH terms

Living donors kidney transplantation health policy economics costs and cost analysis 

Résumé

Les donneurs vivants engagent souvent des dépenses extramédicales (frais de déplacement et d’hébergement, achat de médicaments sur ordonnance, perte de revenus, frais de garde d’enfants) en liaison avec leurs dons d’organes. Or, malgré les précédents internationaux et l’appui généralisé du public, le Canada n’a pas de stratégie unifiée pour leur rembourser ces dépenses. En 2005, nous avons communiqué avec 78 intervenants du secteur de la transplantation au Canada afin de repérer, dans chaque province, les initiatives de remboursement des dépenses des donneurs vivants. La Saskatchewan est la seule province qui octroie un congé payé aux fonctionnaires faisant un don d’organe. Six administrations provinciales remboursent en partie leurs frais de déplacement et d’hébergement. Dans l’administration fédérale, d’autres frais peuvent être partiellement remboursés par un crédit d’impôt sur le revenu, et le programme d’assurance-emploi et le Régime de pensions du Canada prévoient des fonds pour les donneurs qui ont perdu leur emploi ou qui présentent des limitations fonctionnelles de longue durée en raison d’un don d’organe. Des oeuvres de bienfaisance aident un petit nombre de patients en difficulté financière en leur octroyant des subventions et des prêts sans intérêt, mais le montant du financement est en général limité par les contributions reçues. On considère qu’il est juste de rembourser les dépenses extramédicales des donneurs vivants, mais les programmes existants n’en remboursent qu’une partie, et toutes les provinces n’offrent pas ces programmes. L’élaboration de politiques de remboursement abolirait un obstacle de plus pour les donneurs éventuels et pourrait accroître les taux de transplantation au Canada.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sorina Vlaicu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Scott Klarenbach
    • 3
    • 4
  • Robert C. Yang
    • 5
  • Todd Dempster
    • 1
  • Amit X. Garg
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Political Science, London Kidney Clinical Research UnitUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of Western OntarioCanada
  3. 3.Division of NephrologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Health EconomicsEdmontonCanada
  5. 5.Division of NephrologyUniversity of Western OntarioCanada

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