Kidney racket: Senior doctors to be trained on organ transplant law

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 23, 2016 12:00 IST
Doctor from Hiranandani Hospital comes out of Arthur Road jail after getting bail in Mumbai. (Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Senior officials of hospitals that conduct organ transplant procedures will now have to undergo training sessions for orientation of Transplantation of Human Organ Act (TAHO) 1994. The decision was taken during a high level meeting, chaired by CM Devendra Fadnavis, senior health officials and doctors at Mantralaya on Monday.

The state government has now formed a 16-member committee, headed by Dr Deepak Sawant, Health Minister of the state, to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) under the TAHO act. Only last week, Sawant had said that the state needs a separate SOP as a line of defence against the loopholes brought to light during investigations of the controversial kidney scam at L H Hiranandani Hospital. A simplified version of the SOPs is what was demanded by Fadnavis, sources revealed.

Dr Mohan Jadhav, Director, Directorate of Health Services who attended the meeting has been given the responsibility of preparing a checklist of for all the procedures to be followed for an organ transplant procedure. DHS is also supposed to coordinate with Directorate of Medical Education through a mailing system with standard format, consisting details of donors and recipients.

Jadhav also pointed out the lack of expertise to pinpoint forged documents attested by local advocates after which the committee decided that from now on, the documents will be verified by the magistrate to avoid malpractices. The decision to train doctors in the law is significant because some of the accused in the kidney scam have said that they did not know the law.

A government resolution is soon to be passed, making it compulsory for the representative of all the hospitals to attend the symposium where the laws of organ transplant will be explained in detail. DMER and DHS are also entrusted with a responsibility to organize Continuing Medical Education (CME) along with all the hospitals for better coordination.

A number of other discussions also took place on the Aadhar linking of donors and recipients, biometric registrations, special arrangement for a room and proper equipment to record video footages of the counseling sessions.

State Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant said that while they don’t want to inconvenience doctors due to the new guidelines, exploitation of poor classes for organ transplants needs to be stopped immediately and the ministry in no way will be allow the malpractices to continue due to documentation errors.

Who is on the committee?

The sixteen member committee will be headed by Dr. Deepak Sawant, with the Minister of State for Public Health and Family Welfare as a special invitee. The Principal Secretary, Public Health and Family Welfare, Director of State Health Services, Director of Medical Education and Research, and Additional Commissioner (crime) of Mumbai police will be its principal members.

Other members include Dr. Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital, Dr. Sujata Patwardhan, head of Urology at KEM Hospital, Dr. Rekha Davar, gynaecologist from Grant Medical College, Dr. Umesh Oza, urologist and president of Indian Society of Organ Transplantation, Dr. Ashok Kripalani, nephrologist, Dr. Shrirang Bichu, Bombay Hospital. Uday Warunjikar, Advocate Gautam Khanna, Hinduja Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Director of the human organs transplantation section of the state health services will also be part of the 16-member committee.

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