Attitudes towards liver transplantation in Victoria, Australia

Aust N Z J Surg. 1993 Jul;63(7):520-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.1993.tb00444.x.


Liver transplantation commenced on a regular basis in Australia in 1985. This followed the first successful orthotopic transplant in Brisbane in 1985 and the setting up of a National Centre for Liver Transplantation in Sydney in 1985 with clinical transplantation beginning there in 1986. A centre was subsequently developed in Melbourne in 1988. As this procedure was perceived to be expensive, and because of discussion on rationing of medical services, the authors were prompted to test the Victorian community awareness and attitude to government funding of transplantation. One year after the establishment of the Victorian Liver Transplantation Programme, a random survey of the Victorian population and of general practitioners in Melbourne was conducted with the assistance of a professional polling company. Sixty-five per cent of the Victorian population knew liver transplantation was available in Victoria, 12% said it was not available and 23% did not know. Among general practitioners, 79% knew liver transplantation was available 14% said it was not available and 7% did not know. Eighty-eight per cent of Victorians and a similar proportion of general practitioners said the State Government should provide funding. Forty-seven per cent of the Victorian population said government should provide total funding and a further 39% funding of more than 50%. Among general practitioners, 33% said total funding should be provided and a further 46% thought that more than 50% of funding should be provided. This survey has revealed convincingly that Victorians have decided that their health care should include the expense of liver transplantation paid for by government. Awareness of the availability of the operation of liver transplantation is developing rapidly.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Australia
  • Capital Financing
  • Government
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation* / economics
  • Resource Allocation*