The state health department has threatened to withhold licenses of private hospitals and nursing homes that have intensive coronary care units (ICCU) and intensive therapeutic units (ITU) facilities if they do not form panel of doctors for quick declaration of brain dead cases.
The department led by the chief minister Mamata Banerjee will send notices to both private and government hospitals soon to form such panel of doctors.
Health department’s brain dead certification committee sat on a meeting at Swasthya Bhaban a few days ago and took the decision to accelerate the process of organ donation system across the state.
Doctors announce a patient is a brain dead case when his or her brain does not function medically though other organs remain active.
This case is certified following confirmations for two times.
The final confirmation is made after six hours when the concerned doctor first suspects it is a case of brain dead.
Besides the issue of brain dead cases the health department also wants to streamline a section of private hospitals and nursing homes that allegedly fleece money from relatives keeping brain dead cases inside the ICCUs or ITUs for several days.
“We have discussed the issue in our committee meeting a few days ago and decided to issue notice to all private and government hospitals asking them to form the panel of doctors who will certify brain dead cases. This will also help the organ transplants system more systematic and timely,” professor RN Pandey, head of nephrology department at SSKM hospital and chairman of the committee, told HT.
“The panel comprises concerned physician under whom the critical patient is admitted and neurologist, anaesthesiologist and director or principal of the hospital. As per the Human Organ Transplantation Act, organs like heart, kidney, liver etc are harvested with the permissions of the relatives of the deceased,” Pandey said.
A member of the committee said that critically ill patients are usually brought to the ICCU or ITU and brain dead cases takes place in such units.
Private hospitals or nursing homes require licenses issued by the health department’s clinical establishment wing.
“Our move will help streamline these private hospitals. Sometimes we get complaints how a section of these hospitals fleece money from relatives unnecessarily keeping brain dead patients inside the ICU or ITU for a few days,” a senior official of the clinical establishment cell said requesting anonymity.