The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DRME) has shot off a letter to 19 Punjab hospitals involved in conducting kidney transplants informing them that only two of them have the approval to carry out such transplants without the permission of the authorities even if the donor and recipient happen to be near relatives.
The letter, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, states that only Dayanand Medical College (DMC), Ludhiana, and Fortis Hospital, SAS Nagar, have been granted the permission under the hospital-based authorization committee for near relatives in the state in which they do not need permission from the state government to carry out transplants if the donor and recipient are near relatives.
The directorate has cited the notification and instructions issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare under section Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994.
The letter further states that the rest of the hospitals have to send their case to the district-level committee if the donor and recipient are from the state and after getting permission they can conduct the transplant.
If one of the donor or the recipient, or both, is from outside the state, the case would be heard by the state-level committee first.
If any hospital is found conducting transplants on its own, it will be illegal.
The move came after an ongoing probe by a special investigation team (SIT) of the Jalandhar police found several discrepancies in cases of kidney transplants at the city-based National Kidney Hospital.
Health secretary Hussan Lal said the department scanned records following the National Kidney Hospital case and then it emerged that only two hospitals have permission for the hospital-based authorisation committee for near relatives.
Whether other hospitals conducted transplantations on their own in the past, he said appropriate action would be taken against them after checking the records.
Lal said if a hospital is carrying out more than 25 transplants in a year it can apply for the hospital-based authorisation.
As per the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, the authorisation committee should be hospital-based in cities if the numbers of transplants exceeds 25 a year. If the number of organ transplants in a hospital is less than 25 a year, the state- and-district level authorisation committees would grant approval(s).
The hospitals which do not have permission of authorisation committee are Christian Medical College, Ludhiana; Astha Kidney and Super-Specialty Hospital, Ludhiana; Sat Guru Partap Singh Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana; Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala; Ghai Neuro Surgery and Trauma Centre, Jalandhar; SGL Charitable Hospital, Jalandhar; Patel Hospital, Jalandhar; New Ruby Hospital, Jalandhar; National Kidney Hospital, Jalandhar; Kidney Hospital, Jalandhar; Surya Kidney Care Hospital, Mohali; Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali; Max Super-specialty Hospital, Mohali; IVY Hospital, Mohali; Fortis Hospital, Amritsar; Johal Multispecialty Hospital, Jalandhar and Mayo Super-specialty Hospital, Mohali.