he state health department is set to form a new hospital authorisation committee (HAC) – previously called ethics committee – to bring in transparency in organ transplant procedures.
Following the arrest of five doctors from Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital for their alleged role in an illegal kidney racket, a team of ten doctors on Saturday met the state health minister Dr Deepak Sawant to discuss the shortcomings of the HAC system and demanded that doctors serving the committee be removed.
The primary duty of the committee is to ensure that the donor is not exploited for monetary consideration.
The committee is supposed to scrutinise the joint application by the recipient and the donor, and conduct a mandatory personal interview to establish that the motive of donation is genuine. It is also supposed to ensure that the donor understands the potential risks of the transplant surgery.
Responding to it, Dr Sawant said that his department would issue a government resolution on the formation of a new committee after discussing the matter with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
“We will introduce changes to bring in transparency and end malpractices taking place inside hospitals. Doctors will be issued warnings in case a patient faces inconvenience due to the doctors’ decision to halt the organ transplant,” said Dr Sawant.
He further added, “The chief executive officer and managing director, as representatives of the hospital, will continue to be a part of the committee.”
Dr Jayesh Lele, president of Indian Medical Association, said they requested Sawant to remove doctors from HAC. “Verifying documents and investigating its reliability is not a doctor’s job. We requested Dr Sawant to hand over this responsibility to the police or the government officials,” said Dr Lele.
The state public health department, ahead of the three-day statewide organ donation programme is slated to bring in new regulations for cadaver donations by brain dead patients. “The intention is to cater to patients with failed organs by turning more brain-dead patients into organ donors,” said Dr Deepak Sawant, health minister. At present, Maharashtra has 12,000 organ failure patients in queue for transplant surgeries.