The Australian Medical Association of WA has praised Federal Government plans to pay employees wanting to donate an organ a six-week salary on the minimum wage.

Under the trial scheme, workers will be paid up to $606 per week for six weeks to help ease the burden of medical costs and income loss.

Geoff Dobb from the WA branch of the AMA says it is good news for both organ donors and recipients.

"The main reason that people do this is for altruistic reasons but it will at least provide some financial buffer for the financial sacrifice they also make," he said.

"These and other measures are making a significant impact on the time that people have to wait for, particularly a kidney, if they are on the waiting list."

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says medical and organ donation groups have long argued for the need for a living donor paid-leave scheme.

"Living donors make an incredibly generous gift," she said.

"Because the procedure to transplant an organ is not without risk to the donor, we want to ensure they are assisted during the recovery period after surgery."

Ms Plibersek says the salary is based on the national minimum wage and will be paid to employers to pass on.

The Government is committing $1.3 million to trial the initiative for two years.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann says an average of 288 people donate an organ every year.

"More than 99 per cent of living donations in Australia involve the donation of a kidney," he said.

"This new initiative will help alleviate some of the financial burden for donors, who usually donate to someone they have a strong emotional attachment like their child, partner or good friend."

Mr Neumann says if the number of donations can be increased, the longer-term medical costs to taxpayers for treatments such as kidney dialysis will be reduced.

"But this will assist not just those people but also the tax payers - I mean end-stage kidney disease is a major cost to Australians," he said.


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