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Conference to discuss all-Ireland donor plan

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 10/09/2015

A possible cross-border approach to increase organ donation throughout the island of Ireland will be discussed at a major international transplantation conference in Belfast tomorrow.

It's the first time that the event has be held in Northern Ireland and it coincides with National Transplant Week.

Every year in Northern Ireland around 15 people die waiting for an organ transplant, yet only 34% have signed the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Last year, 127 patients in Northern Ireland received an organ transplant between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.

Up to 15 speakers from the USA, UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic will address the 200-strong audience attending the event.

They include Dr Aisling Courtney, consultant transplant nephrologist at Belfast City Hospital, whose department has an excellent reputation for transplants, particularly for live kidney donations.

Event organiser Tim Brown, consultant transplant surgeon at Belfast City Hospital, said: "We have been able to attract world leaders to this congress because of our international reputation.

"Transplantation in Northern Ireland is thriving and we are on target for a record number of kidney transplants in Belfast this year."

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