LCQ13: Organ donation

     Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (October 27):


     Recently, quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that the organ donation website of the Department of Health only provides the annual number of organ donation without regularly showing the number of new registrants for organ donation, making it difficult for members of the public to assess the effectiveness of the authorities' campaign to promote organ donation.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the current number of registrants on the Centralised Organ Donation Register (CODR);

(b) of the respective annual numbers of successful transplant operations involving donated organs conducted in the five years prior to the launch of CODR; and the respective annual numbers of successful transplant operations involving donated organs conducted since the launch of CODR;

(c) of the reasons why all along the number of new registrants for organ donation has not been regularly made public on the organ donation website; and

(d) whether it will consider regularly publishing the number of new registrants for organ donation; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



(a) With the advancement in medicine and medical technology, organ transplant through donation can not only give a new life to people in need, but also improve their quality of life.  Driving home the importance of organ donation to the public, however, is a process that takes time because organ donation also entails consideration from the cultural point of view and there are different views among the community.  The Government has all along endeavoured to promote organ donation through a variety of means.  For instance, the Government established a Centralised Organ Donation Register (CODR) for the public on November 24, 2008 to provide a reliable and effective way to identify people with brain stem death and suitable for donation of their organs for transplant purpose.  As at September 30, 2010, more than 60,000 members of the public have registered through CODR indicating their willingness to donate their organs after death.  In this connection, we would like to express our gratitude to various community groups for their assistance and contribution in promoting organ donation.  We will continue our effort in working closely with the relevant organisations to organise different kinds of activities to further disseminate the message of organ donation.

(b) The Department of Health (DH) has launched the CODR since November 2008.  The statistics of organ donations from 2007 to 2009 are at Annex.

(c) & (d) Apart from establishing the CODR in November 2008, DH has also set up an organ donation thematic website at, providing information on organ donation, including the number of cases in which organs have been donated for transplant and the number of persons on the waiting list for organ transplant since 2001 up to the present.  Such statistics, updated on an annual basis, are uploaded to the website for public reference.

     Apart from launching organ donation promotional activities, latest statistics on organ donation and the increase in the number of registrations will also be disseminated to the community through different channels such as seminars, exhibitions, press release or media interviews.  We will also make use of these opportunities to appeal to the public to support organ donation and take action through online registration as organ donors after death.  In response to social changes and to enhance the promotion of organ donation among young people, the Government will consider promoting organ donation and online registration through various means, such as promotion at universities, so as to benefit more people in need.

Ends/Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:45