CHENNAI: Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar refuted allegations of malpractice in organ transplantation, favouring foreigners over Indian patients in Chennai. In the Assembly on Tuesday, DMK MLA R Masilamani (DMK) and Congress MLA J G Prince (Congress) alleged that many foreigners had received organs in Chennai, bypassing the Indian patients on waiting lists.
“At a time hundreds of Indian patients have been waiting for organs for months, how come foreign patients received lungs, heart and kidneys?” asked Masilamani.
Responding to this, the Health Minister claimed that organs had been donated to foreign patients in accordance with the laws prescribed for organ-sharing network and there was no wrongdoing in this. He said the entire system was made transparent through the Online Transplant Registry maintained by the Tamil Nadu State Transplant Authority.
“While allocating the organs received from brain-dead patients, first priority is given to the registered patients in the same government hospital from where the organs were retrieved. If there are no takers, the organs allocated to combined government hospitals within the State through the State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO). In case, there is no patient available to receive the organs, then the organs are sent to Combined Private Hospitals registered within the State.”
If organs are not accepted by these hospitals, they are allocated to government hospitals in southern States through the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO), followed by private hospitals. “When hospitals across the country decline the request online, saying that they are unable to take the organs due to poor health condition of a patient or non-suitability, then organs are allocated to a foreign national registered in state.” He said out of 60 heart surgeries in TN, 50 were on Indians.
PMK seeks CBI probe into organ transplant allegations
Chennai: Pattali Makkal Katchi leader Anbumani Ramdoss demanded CBI enquiry into allegations that organs harvested from brain dead persons were allotted to foreigners bypassing Indians. In a release, Anbumani Ramdoss said the licence of private hospitals should be cancelled if they were found violating rules. The officials should also check if there were any Indian patients in these hospitals who died during the waiting period for organs . The officials should find out whether there were patients affected by the organ transplant which was conducted bypassing the rules. Compensation should be given to these patients, the release added.