Doctors perform surgery [illustrative]..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The National Transplant Center has refunded NIS 1.5 million to kidney and liver donors during the first six months of this year due to a law that mandates compensating donors for costs incurred as a result of their donation, recovery, or other related expenses for up to five years.
From January to June 2015, 84 people donated kidneys – of these, 60 were donated to relatives – the center said on Monday. The remaining donations were to friends or distant relatives. There were also three cases of transplant exchanges, in which a family member of someone waiting for an organ donated to a stranger, whose tissue type was compatible, and a member of the recipient’s family donated an organ in return.
Organ donors are entitled to a rebate of NIS 2,700 for travel expenses as well as a grant to cover the loss of work days for 40 days before and after the procedure. In addition, they can receive up to NIS 540 per night for a weeklong hotel stay to recuperate and up to NIS 434 for several psychylogy sessions.
The state, working with the National Transplant Center, also provides a “security belt” to the donor in case his physical condition declines as a result of his donation. This covers the costs of private or supplementary health insurance to compensate for the inability to work and the costs of medical equipment, as well as life insurance. An amendment initiated by former MK Arye Eldad gives organ donors exemption from health taxes for three years.
In addition, if an organ donor eventually needs to undergo a transplant, he or she receives special priority.
While this much-praised Israeli law, and its organ transplantation amendments, forbid the sale of organs, the National Transplant Center stated that a donor should not suffer harm as a result of the contribution.