All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) refused liver transplant treatment to a lady, forcing her to appeal to the Delhi high court last week. Following the appeal, Aiims re-admitted Manju Devi (40) but her fate still hangs fire.
In the last one year, Aiims haven't done any liver transplant. Ever since the inception of the programme in 1994, Aiims has done 12 liver transplants. In the last 17 years, Aiims hasn't been able to start a live donor transplant. In sharp contrast, private hospitals like Apollo and Sir Ganga Ram have performed over 300 liver transplantation surgeries, which make up for 75% of all liver transplants performed.
Liver transplant surgeries at Aiims are being done at the rate of roughly 0.7 a year, when every year at least 60,000 persons in the country are in the waiting.
"It is sad that our liver transplant programme hasn't succeeded. We have the doctors as well as a great set-up but the transplant programme is still in its experimental phase," said an administrative official at Aiims.
HT tried contacting Dr TK Chattopadhyay, head of the liver transplantation at Aiims but received no response, both from his office and home.
GB Pant Hospital — a Delhi government run super specialty hospital — near Delhi Gate has also been talking of starting liver transplant surgeries for last two years. "We were waiting for the sanction from the health ministry. We have got a go-ahead for cadaver transplants this month and we should do our first surgery in August," said an administrative official, unwilling to be quoted.
The only government set-up offering the procedure in Delhi is Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in Vasant Kunj which started its liver transplant programme in 2010 have done 15 transplants so far. The surgery cost at ILBS is about R10 lakh. "We've had about 70% success rate. We had about 250 people in the list but because of constraints like donor unavailability, monetary problems and physical unfitness, several patients did not qualify for transplant," said SK Sarin, director, ILBS.