Fallout of kidney scam: Live donations in Mumbai hit
Officials said only three of six applications for kidney donations and transplants between parties not related to each other were approved before the scam came to light in July 2016.mumbai Updated: Jan 02, 2017 11:02 IST
While cadaver donations rose in 2016, donations between living people took a hit after the kidney transplant scam at Powai’s LH Hirnandani hospital. In one case, a transplant procedure between mother and son was delayed as all authorities concerned were taking precautions — or passing the buck — following the scam.
“The mother was the donor for her son. But the procedure was needlessly prolonged because authorities were waiting for the son’s wife to approve. When all documents were in place, the government official overseeing the transplant asked for police verification. This further delayed the procedure,” said Dr Bharat Shah, a senior nephrologist.
Officials said only three of six applications for kidney donations and transplants between parties not related to each other were approved before the scam came to light in July 2016. Not a single case has been approved after that.
In the aftermath of the kidney scam, nephrologists and urologists said the Hospital Authorisation Committees that approve transplants between blood relatives are delaying its permissions, which is affecting the number of transplants.
Officials from the Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER), however, said doctors were the ones worried about treating unrelated patients.
Dr Pravin Shingare, director, DMER, and one of the five members in the State Authorisation Committee (SAC) that approves transplants between unrelated people or those that involve donors and recipients from different states, said doctors were apprehensive of taking up cases where the donor and patient were unrelated. In the Powai case, the kidney recipient had fraudulently shown an unrelated donor as his wife.
“After the scam, there is an element of fear among nephrologists and urologists. The hospitals are not approving any case of unrelated transplants, so they don’t reach us at all,” he said.