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Transplant hopes ride on Bill

India needs around 20,000 liver transplants annually. But the number of annual transplants are only 400. However, there’s hope that the procedure will see a surge in numbers, thanks to the Organ and Tissue Transplant Bill, 2008, being introduced in the Parliament by year-end.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 14, 2009 23:35 IST

India needs around 20,000 liver transplants annually. But the number of annual transplants are only 400. However, there’s hope that the procedure will see a surge in numbers, thanks to the Organ and Tissue Transplant Bill, 2008, being introduced in the Parliament by year-end.

“Once cleared by Parliament, the act will make it easier to get organ donors. It will extend the definition of relatives to maternal grandparents and will also allow organ swapping among families,” said Kapil Sibal, Union minister for human resource and development, at an event in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) on Wednesday.

The hospital’s liver transplant centre leads with 438 transplants, arguably the highest in the South Asia. The event was held to commemorate over 400 liver transplants at SGRH in the last 11 years with a global success rate of 95 per cent.

Dr A.S. Soin, chief liver transplant surgeon at the hospital, said, “Of the total number of transplants that take place in the country annually, 40 per cent happen at Ganga Ram alone.” The hospital does roughly about 150 transplants every year.

Of the 20,000 liver transplants needed in the country, only 400 people manage to have the procedure every year. “There’s a huge gap, and our aim here is to bridge that gap,” said Dr B K Rao, SGRH chairman.

Sibal also talked about medical equipment bill, under process with his ministry. “The bill is on the verge of being passed, which will allow medical equipment to be manufactured within the country,” he said.