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Organ donation in Switzerland

Learn more about organ donation in Switzerland.

503 transplants were performed in Switzerland in 2016. However, there are 1’480 on the transplant waiting list. Every year this figure rises and in 2017, 74 people died waiting for a transplant. Organ donation rates are rising around the world but in 2016 Switzerland had only 111 registered organ donors (13.3 donors per million inhabitants), a figure far lower than expected. The number of organ donors is one of the lowest in Europe.

The Swiss Federal Public Health Office and Swisstransplant are working towards improving donation rates in Switzerland through a national campaign and the funding and training of health professionals.

Different ideas for consenting to organ donation will most probably soon be explored at local and national government levels. 

We are hoping the 10th Winter World Transplant Games will increase public awareness of organ donation and transplantation in Switzerland and help people understand the importance of making a decision on this subject and making that decision known to their family.

Facts & figures

The number of people on the transplant waiting list continues to rise.

In Switzerland, the risk of needing a transplant is 20 times higher than becoming an organ donor.

Even though 82% say they are in favour of organ donation, there is a 60% refusal rate for donation, even though a donor can save up to 7 lives.

The number of donors in a country are measured by donors per million in the population (pmp). The number of donors in Switzerland is rising slowly every year. In 2016, the number was 13.3 pmp. The goal for 2018 is to increase the number to 20 pmp.

A message from Swisstransplant, the National Swiss Foundation for Organ Donation and Transplantation

The World Transplant Games show the incredible results that can be achieved post-transplant. These Games are organised to promote organ donation and transplantation in the host country. We are hoping that this event will encourage a large number of our population to make their decision and to inform their loved ones of this decision.

Dr. Franz Immer
Cardiovascular surgeon


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