First time initiative in India: Pune plans to issue online licenses for organ transplants
In order to increase transparency within the system and keep track of the number of licenses issued for organ transplants in the state, the Maharashtra state health department in Pune has decided to take the license registration process online. The first-time initiative will make it easier for hospitals to upload data and documents as they will no longer have to seek approval from officials in state capital Mumbai.
The state health department has also decided to launch a vehicle dedicated to transporting organs for donation. “This will help avoid arranging different vehicles whenever there is an organ transfer,” said Dr Sanjeev Kamble, state director for health services, Maharashtra, adding that a dedicated staff will also be required for the same.
“The proposal to make the license renewal and registration process an online one was discussed with state health minister Deepak Sawant on Thursday,” Dr Kamble said. “We are still working on it and soon it will be implemented in the state.”
Dr Kamble could not confirm whether Maharashtra is the first state in India to digitalize licenses for organ transplants. But a Union health ministry official in New Delhi, speaking on the condition of anonymity, suggested that the welcome move was a pioneering one.
“To my knowledge no other state has done this. It is a positive initiative, as it will save time. They are following the law, so there shouldn’t be any problem in its implementation,” the official said.
Dr Kamble said that the major issues that health authorities in Pune have been facing are the lack of manpower and the tremendous and simultaneous increase of the workload at health centers. “Organ transplant surgeries have been gaining momentum in the state. Besides, most organ retrieval centres are in private hospitals, which keep changing their staff and are required to submit an application for approval to us, each time there is a change in team or a new surgeon is hired,” said Dr Kamble.
The digitization would also help the government in making the whole process transparent and in tracking the documents of any hospital easily.
“We will also be able to track the record of waiting list of centres that want their registrations approved by us. The digitisation will be a boon for all,” he observed.
However, one senior nephrologist who spoke on condition of anonymity, severely criticized the digitalization of licenses for organ transplants. “Nowadays, all kinds of information is online and it has become very easy to hack sensitive data. Given the recent kidney racket, we do not want our data leaked and agents getting their hands on the data submitted.”
The specialist demanded assurances from the state that such information will be kept safe and secure, since the site will contain details related to the licensees, the doctors themselves, too.
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