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2016 kidney racket fallout: Organ transplants drop by 50% in Pune

In the current year, only 80 transplants have been conducted so far, said Dr Abhay Huprikar, head of the zonal transplant coordination committee, Pune

pune Updated: Sep 15, 2018 14:53 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,kidney transplants
Organ transplants in Pune have dropped by more than 50 per cent in the last three years in Pune, one of the prime reasons being the fallout from the 2016 kidney racket exposed at a top Mumbai hospital, where five doctors were among those arrested. (Hindustan Times)

Organ transplants in Pune have dropped by more than 50 per cent in the last three years in Pune, one of the prime reasons being the fallout from the 2016 kidney racket exposed at a top Mumbai hospital, where five doctors were among those arrested.

In Pune, while more than 200 organ transplants were conducted in 2016, the number dropped to about 100 in 2017. In the current year, only 80 transplants have been conducted so far, said Dr Abhay Huprikar, head of the zonal transplant coordination committee, Pune.

The transplant committee is a not-for-profit, government organisation in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad, established to promote organ donation.

Dr Sanjeev Kamble, Maharashtra’s director of health services, pointed out that in 2016, Pune received the first prize from the health ministry for performing the maximum number of organ transplants. “However, the setback we have received in the last two years is worrisome,” he said.

On a similar note, Dr Abhay Sadre, founder of Pune nephrology society and chief of nephrology at Ruby Hall Clinic said, “We have observed that Pune and the entire state has seen a severe fall in the number of organ transplants in the last couple of years. The number of transplants in 2016 was a milestone for us, but there has been a major slip after that.”

Dr Kamble said that the medical fraternity continues to be shaken by the Mumbai kidney racket case of 2016 at Hiranandani Hospital, and another racket that was busted in Akola district. “After this, the legal procedures were made stringent and everyone wants to play safe. Even hospitals are reluctant to take in patients with a ‘live’ donor,” he said.

In August, 2016, 14 persons including five doctors were arrested from LH Hirandani Hospital, Mumbai, after a kidney-transplant racket was unearthed in mid-July. The hospital was ordered to stop organ transplants after a medical team found four dubious cases in the hospital.

Dr Shirish Yande, senior urologist from Maharashtra medical foundation’s Ratna and Joshi hospitals said, apart from diligently ensuring legal compliance, the fear of organ trafficking was holding back doctors and hospitals on organ transplants in the last two years. “We all are extremely watchful and vigilant when it comes to an organ transplant,” he said.

Dr Kamble said that in view of the sharp drop in organ transplants, the 16-member state advisory committee for organ transplants has decided to take steps to increase authorised transplant centres in the state. The authorisation would be given after thorough inspections, licences and registrations, he said.

Also, the state is planning to take the help of NGOs such as Mohan foundation to train doctors in organ transplants. “We also plan to improve the rate of organ retrieval and curb wastage of organs which is huge. However, this is still in phase one and soon strategies will be chalked out to implement the plan in the state,” he said.

Patients with chronic kidney disease on the rise

According to the Indian nephrology society, an estimated 2.2 lakh new patients with end- stage renal disease were diagnosed in the country so far this year. Of these, only two to three per cent received an organ.

The number of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney disease in 2013-2014 was around one lakh. According to the society, the number of patients with chronic disease has doubled in the last few years giving a rise to patients needing an organ transplant for long term survival.

Dr Abhay Sadre, founder, Pune nephrology society said the government needs to help identify patients who were in urgent need of transplants as not many patients can afford to wait for a cadaver donation.

Dr NC Ambekar, organising secretary of Indian nephrology society, west zone chapter, said that of all the chronic patients, more than 50 per cent had co-morbidities, like diabetes and hypertension.

Rise in patients with serious kidney ailments in India

•2018: 2.2 lakh

•2013-14: One lakh

•Of the 2.2 lakh newly diagnosed patients, two to three per cent received an organ.

Source: Indian nephrology society

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 14:38 IST