Access to the Kidney Transplant Waiting List – a time for reflection

17 May 2016

The limited availability of deceased donor kidneys for transplantation in Australia continues to be a matter of concern. Analysis of registry data suggests that the current renal transplant waiting list under-represents the real demand for three reasons. Firstly, a very low proportion of dialysis patients across all age groups are wait-listed for kidney transplantation; secondly, the percentage of dialysis patients listed for transplantation has fallen over time across all Australian states and territories; and thirdly, the number of patients wait-listed varies significantly across the country. We explore possible reasons for these issues and call for new eligibility criteria that are both transparent and justifiable and balance equity and utility.