Some 918 organ transplants were performed last year in Belgium, however 1,504 candidate recipients are still on a waiting list.
Those who need a new kidney form the largest group amongst the candidate recipients, De Zondag reports. As of 1 January, 1,152 people were waiting for such a transplant.
“The waiting time for a kidney transplant in our country varies on average between two and a half and three years,” says Luc Colenbie, transplant coordinator at UZ Gent.
The average waiting time for a heart transplant in Belgium is one year. “As of 1 January, 75 people were on the waiting list, the lowest number in 10 years,” Colenbie adds.
According to him, this is partly due to the improved effectiveness of the drugs prescribed for heart failure and the fact that patients can rely on an artificial heart while waiting for a transplant.
Belgian legislation considers every citizen as a potential donor by default, unless they object. In 2022, 8,770 people took this step. Conversely, 26,339 people explicitly indicated that they wanted to donate their organs.