Kevin Rudd talks organ donation at Griffith

Former Prime Minister and organ donation advocate, Hon. Kevin Rudd MP is visiting the Griffith University Medical School on the Gold Coast tomorrow (Mar 1) as part of the school’s Grand Rounds series of public lectures during DonateLife Week.

DonateLife Week is from February 24 to March 3 and is Australia’s national awarenessweek to promote organ and tissue donation.

It is part of the Australian Government’s National Reform Agenda to increase organ andtissue donation rates, begun by Mr Rudd when Prime Minister in 2008.

Mr Rudd will speak about the government’s National DisabilityInsurance Scheme (NDIS) and the importance of Organ Donation in a session titled Organ
Donation, Health Reform and the NDIS: A heart to heart with Kevin Rudd. He will alsoparticipate in a QandA session with students and staff following his speech.
Mr Rudd became an advocate for Organ Donation after having a heart valve replaced atthe age of 32.

“I am proud of our work to establish DonateLife which has helped bring Australia’s organdonation levels to the highest since national records began,” said Mr Rudd. “I look
forward to speaking to the Griffith University medical students about this achievementand the Government’s forward agenda on the NDIS, increased training places and other
areas of health reform.”

Griffith Health Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Allan Cripps believes both organ donationand the NDIS are two critical agendas in Australia’s health debate and is looking forward
to the session.

Donation is crucial to saving lives

“Organ and tissue donation is crucial to saving lives and to improving the quality of life ofso many Australians. It is important for our health students, doctors, nurses and allied
health professionals to be aware of its importance and DonateLife week is an excellentopportunity to increase awareness,” Professor Cripps said.

“The NDIS is the most important reform in health since Medicare, ensuring a systematicapproach to care and resources so people with disabilities can reach their full potential. Itis a wonderful opportunity for our students to hear about this evolving reform from one ofits architects.”

The Grand Rounds sessions are organised and moderated by Professor HarryMcConnell, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Neurodisability at Griffith UniversitySchool of Medicine.

“We are in a period of significant reform for both health and disability care in Australia,”he said.

“In multiple roles Mr Rudd has been crucial to the development or advocacy of thesereforms and it’s a wonderful chance for our future medical professionals to learn abouthow these reforms are established and how they may work.

“It is most appropriate that he is speaking during DonateLife week as organ donation issuch an important initiative and more people need to be aware of how critical it is tohealth care and to society.”

Professor Simon Broadley, Dean of the Griffith School of Medicine also emphasised theimportance of organ donation. “The Australian Organ Donor Register is an important
initiative improving the lives of many patients,” he said.

Griffith University and the Gold Coast University Hospital are currently building a $1.7billion Health and Knowledge Precinct overlapping the university’s Parkland’s campus.

Griffith University School of Medicine Grand Rounds
DATE/TIME: March 1 10:30 am,
WHERE: Griffith University School of Medicine, 16-30 High St, Southport.
TOPIC: Health and Disability Policy, Organ Donation.