In the wake of the controversial kidney transplants at LH Hiranandani Hospital, the state health department plans to give organ transplant licences to five government hospitals.
The department wants to study the loopholes in the documentation process, to curb illegal activities and protect the poor from exploitation.
Officials from the health department said they were aware of the loopholes in the system, including those in the authentication of documents furnished in live organ transplants, they refrained from working on them, so genuine patients don’t suffer.
“Causing inconvenience to patients from other states coming to Maharashtra would affect the state’s image. So we tried to strike a balance. As the loopholes have become apparent, we are trying to come up with a system, where one representative from every state will be able to authenticate the documents through his official email ID within 24-48 hours,” said an official.
The Government Medical College and Hospital Nagpur is slated to be ready for organ transplants until December 2016. Till the end of 2017, four more hospitals -- Sassoon Hospital of Pune, Government Medical College & Hospital of Aurangabad, Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College of Nashik and Dr Panjabrao alias Bhausaheb Deshmukh Memorial Medical College, Amravati -- will get the licence.
“These hospitals have new operation theaters and surgical units ready. The only hurdle is to find full- time specialists, who will be ready to take the responsibility,” said an officer from the health department. The department is looking for medical experts, including experienced nephrologists, urologists, and cardiologists.
In 2015, an 11-storey multispecialty wing was set up at Sassoon Hospital, Pune, which will house the transplant unit. Sources confirmed that Rs150crore, allotted for GMC Nagpur, will be used to boost infrastructure at the hospital till December 2016.
Dr Pravin Shingare, director, DMER, said they are discussing the possibility of increasing the amount offered to recipients under the Mahatma Phule Jivandayi Yojna (earlier known as Rajiv Gandhi Jivandayi Yojna) to ensure the surgeries taking place at the government hospitals don’t fail owing to lack of post-surgical care due to the limited economic resources of the families.
“While the cost of surgery is covered under the scheme, the cost of medicines each year goes upto Rs 1 lakh. We are trying to introduce an alternative where the cost of medicine is covered under the scheme,” said Shingare.