Saskatchewan Health Authority confirms supply doesn’t meet demand for kidney transplant list

Saskatchewan Health Authority confirms supply doesn’t meet demand for kidney transplant list

As of December 31, 2022, 88 patients were on the kidney transplant waiting list in Saskatchewan.

Although that number has dropped by about 50 patients since 2021, organ donation numbers are still not enough to meet demand.

Organ transplant recipient Jessica Bailey said she was not surprised by the news.

“I think people don’t really understand how much of a normal life they can have after they donate a kidney,” Bailey said.

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Bailey received a kidney in November that she had been waiting for for four years.

“You wait every day. You don’t know if you’ll live to see tomorrow.”

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She said the longer a patient waits on the transplant list, the less change they need to have to receive a healthy transplant.

“It’s so important and like the gift of life,” Bailey said. “Of course there is nothing better than giving life a chance.”

The Department of Health invested $21.6 million in surgeries for 2022/2023 to start a three-year program to clear the surgical backlog of COVID-19 by 2025.

A statement from the Saskatchewan Health Authority said they are “working to adjust and increase surgical volume by focusing on improvements in orthopedic surgical volume, investing in the human resources of the health care system, and involving private sector partners in… expand the provision of surgical services”.

Bailey said if the health agency wants to speed up the surgical backlog, it needs to change some of its processes and advocate for transplant programs.

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During the transplant process, she had two willing donors. Everyone had to go through test programs at the same time.

“All the testing took about a year, which I’d like to change if they change the transplant program,” she said. “So they can test more than one person at a time.”

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Bailey said she hopes the Health Department will be more committed to transplant programs in the future.

“It’s the best you can give. I don’t know what else to say about that.”

4:09 The Saskatchewan Health Department is urging people to get vaccinated against the flu

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