Spain offers the EU its knowledge, vision for the future and best practices in the field of transplants

News - 2023.11.10

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The acting Minister for Health, José Miñones, has made available to the European Union the knowledge, vision for the future and best practices that have made the Spanish Transplant Model a world benchmark with the aim of providing the EU with a quality transplant network.

He stressed this during his speech at the closing ceremony of the High Level Meeting (HLN) 'Towards Global Convergence in Transplantation: Availability, Transparency & Registration', which was held today in Santander.

As José Miñones reminded us, Spain was the world leader in organ donation in 2022 with a rate of 47 donors per million people and the National Transplant Organisation (ONT), has become a robust international benchmark organisation, with its own budget and support to maximise donations from deceased donors, protect living donors and guarantee fair access to therapies based on substances of human origin.

The ONT also carries out "fundamental work" in coordinating the entire national network of organ, tissue and cell donation and transplantation in Spain in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities.

In the words of José Miñones, "donation and transplantation have a leading role" in the Spanish Government's political agenda.

SoHO Regulations and next Health Assembly

The Acting Minister for Health has encouraged EU Member States to continue working to ensure that Donation and Transplantation programmes take on a priority role in health agendas, agreeing on global objectives for the next decade.

He also reaffirmed the Spanish Government's commitment to continue to bring the tools, projects, initiatives and recommendations that serve to achieve common objectives in the field of donation and transplants to relevant international bodies and forums.

In this regard, he announced that Spain will present a proposal for a Resolution on transplants at the next World Health Assembly (WHA) to ensure that transplantation continues to have a prominent place in global health policy.

He also expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in terms of regulation at European level on quality and safety standards for substances of human origin (SoHO) during the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU. As the minister recalled, an agreement on a general orientation has already been reached, which will give way to the start of the trilogues within this legislative period.

The proposal, detailed Miñones, creates a new European information system, adapted to digital technologies, which will involve the appearance of new structures, such as notification and registration platforms. These will be of great importance when it comes to overseeing the operation of the centres involved in obtaining the different substances and their use, which will, in turn, facilitate their scientific upgrading and modernisation.

"A great challenge to which Spain has committed itself in order to establish a common regulation for the EU-27 during our presidency by reaching an agreement on a general orientation. An objective that is moving forward at a good pace", stressed Miñones.

Spain's commitment in this area is demonstrated by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has been renewed annually since 2005 and which includes a provision of funds "that demonstrates our support for the expansion of transplant therapy at international level".

Recognition of the solidarity and commitment of Cantabria

The acting Minister for Health expressed recognition of the smooth running of the donation programme in Cantabria, the leading community at national level for the eighth consecutive year and which, with a rate of 82.8 donors per million inhabitants in 2022, is almost double the Spanish rate.

"The Cantabrians are an example of professionalism in the development of this complex process that is the donation of organs from deceased donors, a true example of solidarity and social commitment," said Miñones.

The event was also attended, among other personalities, by the Government delegate in Cantabria, Ainoa Quiñones; the president of the International Transplant Society, Elmi Muller; the president of the European Society for Organ Transplantation, Gabriel Oniescu; and the president of the National Transplant Organisation, Beatriz Domínguez-Gil.

Non official translation