Television presenter David Koch has resigned as Chairman of the Organ and Tissue Authority Advisory Council in protest over the Government’s handling of a review into organ donation.
Koch slammed Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, who has ordered an investigation because transplant rates “have not increased as quickly as intended”.
On Channel Seven’s Sunrise this morning, Koch defended progress on donation rates as “world-class” and told the Minister to “get a backbone”.
Watch the video here:
“You didn’t even ring me as chairman of the Advisory Council to get my view or even tell me it’s coming,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve got no choice but to resign from the position and actively counter the tripe dished out by a whole bunch of rich lobbyists that just talk and do nothing.”
Koch accused the Government of caving into the pressure from lobby group, ShareLife, which has criticised reforms of Australia’s organ and tissue donation system.
A spokeswoman for ShareLife said: “We’re disappointed that Kochie has chosen to attack people rather than sticking to the facts.
“We do have a vested interest in an inquiry — we think Australians need to know why our organ donation rate is so low, after so much money has been invested to turn it round.”
The Government said the number of people whose organs were donated when they died was 12.1 per million people in 2008, but had only risen to 16.1 per million last year.
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"Both Coalition and Labor federal governments have made a significant investment in improving Australia's organ transplant rate," Ms Nash said.
"We're seeing relatively slow progress over the last six years, I have had some concerns and thought we needed to have a look at this."