"No free insurance for kidney donors"

13th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 November 2007 , AMSTERDAM - Kidney donors should not be rewarded by having their health insurance fees waived for the rest of their lives after donating their kidney, legislator Pieter van Geel said on Tuesday.

13 November 2007

AMSTERDAM - Kidney donors should not be rewarded by having their health insurance fees waived for the rest of their lives after donating their kidney, legislator Pieter van Geel said on Tuesday.

Van Geel, faction leader of the Christian Democrats CDA in the Dutch Parliament, responded to a proposal by the Council for Public Health Care (RVZ) to grant kidney donors free health insurance.

The leader of the Christian Democrats, the biggest government coalition party, said it would be "very serious if this policy were to be implemented."

Van Geel said he objected to creating financial reasons for people to donate one of their organs.

Health Minister Ab Klink (CDA), who is preparing a plan to increase organ donation in the Netherlands, has not yet responded to the RVZ proposal.

Kidney donation features high on the Dutch political agenda since May when public broadcaster BNN aired the Big Organ Donation Show.

The television programme was presented as a show during which a woman who was purportedly ill would donate a kidney to one of three recipients. Ultimately, the show turned out to be a publicity stunt to raise awareness to the shortage of organ donors.

The woman was in fact an actress, but the three would-be recipients were genuinely ill.

During the show, some 12,000 viewers sent a free SMS to a special number set up by BNN to register as organ donors, while a similar number followed in the weeks after the show.

The show attracted worldwide attention and moved Klink, who was very critical of the TV programme, to draft a new plan to increase the number of available donor organs in the Netherlands.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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