Background: Blood in Australia is sourced through voluntary, non-remunerated donations. With periodic shortages in supply, increasing demand for blood products and a donor base that is perceived to be unsustainable, remuneration has been proposed as a means to improve donation rates.
Objective: To examine community attitudes to remunerated blood donation in Australia. Method: A national random telephone survey of Australian adults age 18-70 was conducted (n = 1024). Associations were tested using a chi-square (χ(2)) test for linear distribution.
Results: Reimbursement for the cost of travel to donate blood was supported by more respondents (46%) than reimbursement for time (19%). Non-donors were more likely to support a payment compared to donors (P = 0.002). Twelve per cent of respondents thought they would be more likely to donate if remunerated while 10% thought they would be less likely. The majority (76%) thought that a payment would not change whether or not they would donate, while 85% thought that it would make other people more likely to donate. The average amount considered to be reasonable reimbursement was AU$30.
Conclusion: Despite the common perception that other people would be motivated to donate blood with the introduction of a financial incentive, remuneration may provide minimal incentive in Australia and is unlikely to increase donor participation for the time being.