Government to enquire into bias in organ transplant allegations

“The government will certainly enquire why in certain cases Indians could not get the organs (for transplant surgeries). We will not brush anything under the carpet.

Published: 13th June 2018 05:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2018 05:01 AM   |  A+A-

Health minister C Vijaya Baskar and health secretary J Radhakrishnan with M Praveen Kumar, who underwent first paediatric heart transplant at government super speciality hospital recently. The entire doctor team was present | D Sampathkumar

By Express News Service

CHENNAI:“The government will certainly enquire why in certain cases Indians could not get the organs (for transplant surgeries). We will not brush anything under the carpet. The State’s transplant programme is a transparent one and we will take the transparency to the next level,” Health secretary J Radhakrishnan told reporters on Tuesday.

He was responding to allegations that in Tamil Nadu foreigners are preferred to Indian patients when allocating the organs harvested from brain-dead persons. “The concerns will be definitely addressed,” he said.

“Health minister C Vijaya Baskar had already directed the Director of Medical Services to look into the concern to find out what’s happening in the hospitals,” he said.

Vijaya Baskar said the use of hearts is only 37 per cent, remaining is wasted. He said for a heart transplant, many factors like age, body weight, blood group must match. “So a majority of the (harvested) hearts are wasted. Only after making sure there is no Indian patient, it will be allocated to a foreigner.”

“Organ registration is done online and through WhatsApp which is more transparent. Wrong news has been published, it will only discourage the doctors and will prevent others from donating organs,” the minister said denying the allegation.

Health secretary further said the waiting list of Indians for heart is 150 and international 53. The 5,310 is the wait list for all organs including, liver, kidney and other tissues.

“As per the rule, only the heart and lung can be allotted to foreigners and no other organs. Only one in six foreigners receive the heart,” the secretary added.

“Next to Frankfurt city, Chennai is leading in organ transplant. The government is also planning to extend the transplant programme to government hosptials in tier-II cities. In private sector only Global, Apollo and Fortis Malar Hospital have licence to perform the transplants,” Vijaya Baskar said.

The minister further said the government had earlier removed “supra urgent” category from the transplant rules as there were allegations that hospitals are misusing that option. “So, definitely we will take all stakeholders opinions and concerns, sit and frame more transparency mechanism,” the minister said.

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