More than 60,000 Ontarians have signed up as organ and tissue donors since April, boosting the registration rate slightly to 25.2 per cent, says the provincial agency in charge.
That’s well below the U.S. donor registration rate of 45 per cent.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network reported Wednesday that 60,868 people gave consent in the three-month period ending June 30, either on the website www.BeADonor.ca, at Service Ontario centres or by completing one of the agency’s forms and mailing it in.
North Bay became the sixth Ontario community to hit the 50 per cent mark – double the provincial average and following in the footsteps of Parry Sound, Val Caron, Garson, Hanmer and Lively in the elite club.
Toronto’s organ-donation rate is 16 per cent in a province where there are 2.96 million donors out of an eligible 11.74 million people over 16, the minimum age for signing a consent form.
Trillium tracks information quarterly for 179 areas across Ontario, and found the highest rates of growth in registered donors in the eastern Ontario communities of Cornwall, Hawkesbury and Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry United County, all in the five per cen range.
Essex, near Windsor, increased its donation rate by 5.14 per cent, and Orangeville, northwest of Toronto, went up by 4.69 per cent.
Trillium officials say the increase of donors in the second quarter has helped the agency get 22 per cent of the way toward its goal of 275,000 new donor registrations by March 31, 2015.
Registration on the website requires an Ontario Health Card number and takes about two minutes.
There are 1,513 Ontarians on the waiting list for donor organs and tissues, and there have been 10,344 transplants since 2003.