Annual Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Health

BACKGROUNDER – Principles for a co-ordinated, comprehensive and integrated donation and transplantation strategy for Canada



1.A National Goal expressed in donors per million  population (DPMP) annually should be established. (The current Canadian rate is  14 DPMP. The bench mark nation is Spain at 31 DPMP.  

A co-ordinated, comprehensive and integrated donation and transplantation  strategy is required.

3.The strategy should be directed by a Council,  appointed by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments, that would  maintain a regular reporting link to the Ministers of Health through Advisory  Committee on Health Services.

The Council should include representatives from government, clinical  disciplines concerned with donation and transplantation, epidemiologists,  ethicists, and the public.  

The Council should:  

  • provide oversight and monitoring of the implementation of the strategy;  
  • provide expertise for the development of standards and recommendations for  future consideration;  
  • approve and oversee the implementation of social marketing strategies;  
  • monitor and report on the outcomes of the strategy through annual reporting  requirements.

The Council should have an ongoing Secretariat to support Health Ministries  and service providers to create and maintain components of a strategy including:  

  • national practice standards;  
  • national safety standards;  
  • social marketing strategy;  
  • mechanisms for assessing adherence to the standards of the Canadian Council  on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA);  
  • development of consensus reports;  
  • supporting Provincial and Territorial activities related to donation and  transplantation.

The Secretariat should be funded by Health Canada.







4.Provinces and Territories should designate critical  care units whose mandate will include the responsibility for donation. Staff  within these units will be provided with the necessary education and training to  identify potential donors, diagnose brain death, maintain clinical support of  the donor until organ recovery is possible, and provide bereavement support to  the family.  
5.Provinces and Territories should ensure that organ  donation and co-ordination activities will be encompassed within critical care  services at the community level. In addition, tissue donation should be formally  linked to organ donation activities at the community level.
6.Provinces and Territories should participate in  developing, and be responsible for reporting against, common standards for the  listing of transplant candidates, organ allocation, sharing practices, and organ  and tissue transplant outcomes.            

Reporting requirements for all hospital services with respect to organ and  tissue donation and transplant activities should be incorporated within the  standards for accreditation established by the Canadian Council on Health  Services Accreditation.

7.Provinces and Territories should ensure that  inter-provincial billing agreements will cover costs for organ donation, tissue  banking, and organ allocation and transplantation.
8.Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments  should ensure the safety, quality and consistency of all organs and tissues for  transplantation, through comprehensive national safety standards implemented  with support from F/P/T governments and service providers for compliance and  enforcement.
9.Provincial and Territorial governments should fund  those elements of the strategy which fall within Provincial and Territorial  health systems.
10.Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments  should recognize the critical role of social attitudes in increased organ  donation and agree to participate and share the costs of a collaborative ongoing  social marketing strategy that crosses all societal groups to assist individuals  in making personal decisions about organ and tissue donation.
11.The Council on Organ and Tissue Donation and  Transplantation should be responsible for the development and implementation of  an evaluation plan for strategy and the submission of a final evaluation report  to Ministers at the end of the fifth year of its work.