We are advocating to establish a world-leading value-based system of transplant excellence and care that improves the experience and outcomes for patients and carers.

The establishment of the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) and Donatelife Register in 2009 has greatly increased organ donations to enable more transplants.

These two initiatives have been a remarkable success – however this success is causing unprecedented strain on the health system, which is beyond capacity.

Annual growth in the number of transplants is not matched by growth in vital health support services needed to keep post transplant patients healthy and alive to enjoy a productive life. Every additional lung (organ) transplant places greater demand and pressure on hospital health services.

Think about it as Australia travelling down a 6 lane superhighway in terms of donors and transplants, however the post-care system is more like a muddy footpath.

The situation worsens everyday with increasing post patient demand on limited services. By 2023 the same issues currently impacting post lung transplant patients, will also impact on patients who have experienced other organ transplants.

If Victoria and Australia are world leaders in lung transplant (organ matching and transplant) then it surely makes sense that we become world leaders (or at least on par with our global peers) in terms of post transplant care and support.

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Advocating for the establishment of The Centre of Transplant Excellence

Lungitude has therefore been advocating for establishment of The Centre of Transplant Excellent which will rapidly leverage Victoria’s status as the world leader in transplant care and establish a national and globally significant centre of knowledge, education, research and innovation, further cementing world’s best transplantation practice in Melbourne.

In addition, the Centre will focus on a ‘fit for life‘ program for recipients as well as a ‘fit for life’ program for carers. Whilst we know that the environment to support recipients and carers is very similar, they both have individual requirements and expertise. A CTE creates a structure that integrates health services into a concentrated ecosystem to benefit post-transplant patients.

  • Focus is on survivorship and a return to wellness
  • Supported by highly qualified medical, nursing, allied-health transplant specialists
  • Removing long term care away from poorly accessible, overcrowded acute-care public hospitals
  • ‘Outpatient’ facilities and a state-of-the art screening and imaging suite

The Centre will deliver the following outcomes:

  • Extend the lives of thousands of Victorian post transplant patients
  • Contribute to transplant research and the progress of transplant advancements
  • Reduce economic pressure on patients and families
  • Generate revenue by training health professionals from other states and countries
  • Reduce emotional pressure on patients and families
  • Reduce resource reliance in other health care areas (ER & GPs)
  • Enable post transplant patients to lead a more ‘normal’ life
  • Extend Melbourne’s reputation as a global centre of excellence in medicine
  • Enable post transplant patients to contribute to the economy
  • Purpose build centre that achieves economies of scale
  • Fill a vacuum – provide more doctors and nurses trained in post transplant care

Over the past 12 months, with support from Astellas Pharma, Tectura Architects and Markstone Consulting we have been busy advocating Lungitude’s expertise in this area and the importance of such a Centre to the whole Organ Donation/Transplant eco-system.

Communications have occurred with key stakeholders including:

  • Victorian State Premier and Health Minister
  • Federal Government including Prime Minister
  • Federal Opposition
  • All Victorian State Members of Parliament
  • Australian Organ Tissue Authority
  • CFEMU
  • Victorian Department of Health
  • Worksafe Victoria
  • Latrobe University
  • Cystic Fibrosis

We would like to acknowledge Fiona Patten MP who took up our cause and asked the Victorian Health Minister in Parliament what action the Government in putting in place to combat this critical situation and further inviting them to collaborate with Lungitude. We are still awaiting a detailed response.

Over the next 12 months our advocacy will continue. There are a number of opportunities in the pipeline that can help alleviate the current stress, improve patient and carer lifestyle, and be an economic positive to the overall health system.

If you would like to know more about The Centre of Transplant Excellence and how you and your network can assist please contact Gordon Jenkins or Andrew Dunbar.

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