The government will set up Organ Retrieval and Banking Organisations (ORBO) in four metros to serve as regional centres, Union health minister A Ramadoss told Rajya Sabha on Friday.
So far, there is only one ORBO at All India Institute of Medical Sciences to facilitate the transplant programme. Ramadoss made the announcement in course of his reply to supplementaries during Question Hour. Each ORBO would cost between Rs 7-10 crore and would have counsellors to promote cadaver donation.
Promising stringent action against those involved in organ rackets, Ramadoss said the government was in the process of tightening regulations for organ transplant in unrelated cases and would hold a workshop on May 18 to firm up its view.
The government had earlier constituted a committee to study the organ donation law and regulations; the meeting next month would be the last part of the stakeholder consultations.
The minister, however, acknowledged that encouraging people to step forward to pledge their organs after death – and counselling their relatives to make good this commitment – was an onerous task. Creating awareness, he told Parliament, would be an important part of the exercise.