Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA) data was evaluated from 2011–2021 to determine the annual rates of kidney transplantation in Australia.  

Dr Darshan Sitharthan a Urology Registrar at Bankstown Hospital in Sydney said only 33 people per million are currently receiving a kidney transplant. 

“2018 was our best year on record, with a transplantation rate per capita of 46 people per million, however, since COVID, Australian kidney transplantation rates have nosedived to 10-year low,” Dr Sitharthan said.

“For more than half a century, kidney transplantation has become a mainstay for treating end-stage kidney disease.

“Kidney transplantation offers patients the greatest chance of increased longevity and improved quality of life; however, even today, the demand for kidneys far exceeds the supply.  

“This is even more alarming considering kidney transplantation rates are at a 10-year low.

“The majority of kidney transplants are elective surgery, and surgeons are working through a back-log, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are thousands of patients who are searching for a suitable kidney donor and stuck in dialysis. It’s essential kidney transplantation rates return to pre-COVID-19 levels as quickly as possible.”   
The research also revealed of the 10,598 kidney transplants which occurred between 2011 and 2021, only 2,614 or 24.6 per cent of patients are currently alive.

Dr Sitharthan’s research was unveiled at the the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress in Adelaide (1-5 May).

The Congress is the largest multi-disciplinary surgical meeting held in the southern hemisphere and brings together some of the top surgical and medical minds from across Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the rest of the world.

For more information about the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress, please visit:


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