The Directorate of Health Services (DHS) has asked centres for kidney transplant across the state to not turn down any patients. The DHS has sent notices to 104 hospitals across the state, 72 of which are located in Mumbai regarding this. This move came after it was noticed that about 13 Mumbai-based hospitals were refusing patients for kidney transplant procedures. Officials from DHS confirmed that the final call on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) will be out in two weeks, until which the hospitals are asked to follow the existing guidelines, set by the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA).
HT, in a recent report, had revealed how nephrology and urology societies of Mumbai, had approached the health ministry, demanding immunity from judicial action post the arrest of specialists, medical director and CEO of L H Hiranandani Hospital in an alleged kidney scam. However, as a state level committee is in process to finalise centralised SOP, over 13 hospitals of Mumbai and several nephrologists and urologists were refraining from conducting the transplants.
“We observed that surgeries are taking place only after influence of patient’s families or political and professional recommendations. About eight to nine patients have moved out of the state after they were refused,” said a senior official from DHS, talking about the current kidney transplant condition in the city.
Dr Satish Pawar, newly appointed director of DHS said though he personally hasn’t got a single such complaint, DHS notified the hospitals, keeping the welfare of poor patients in mind. “We had a meeting with both urology and nephrology societies last week and some of their demands are incorporated in the SOP. Final call will be taken by the state appointed committee within two weeks, until then, all the surgeons and hospitals are supposed to conduct transplants as per NOTA guidelines,” said Pawar.
Officials from Mumbai Urology Society said that they have taken a collective decision to start the transplant procedures, as a part of ‘good gesture.’ However, keeping in mind the reservations of many specialists, regarding the current guidelines, they are demanding meetings with Dr Pawar to brief him regarding the issue.
“Since the DHS authority has changed, we need to have two or more meetings since there are a few issues related to quality of video recordings of Hospital Authorisation Committee meetings, its authenticity as evidence, and absence of full proof documentation at every stage of transplants. The issues need to be covered in new SOPs,” said Dr Shrikant Badwe, President of Mumbai Urology Society.