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.(Getty Images/Picture for representation)
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.(Getty Images/Picture for representation)
Published on Dec 22, 2018 11:31 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | ByNozia Sayyed

In order to increase transparency within the system and keep track of the number of licences issued for organ transplants in the state, the Maharashtra state health department in Pune has decided to take the licence 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, a dedicated staff will also be required for the same.

“The proposal to make the licence renewal and registration process an online one was discussed with state health minister Deepak Sawant 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 digitalise licences for organ transplants.

But a Union health ministry official in New Delhi, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “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.”

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 centres. “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 digitisation 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 criticised the digitalisation of licences 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 licencees, the doctors themselves, too.

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