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Only two govt hospitals can do organ transplants

FIFTY hospitals in the State are equipped and certified to conduct organ transplants. But only two of these are government hospitals. With the World Kidney Day just behind us, Deccan Herald looks at why there are more certified hospitals for kidney transplants than other organs such as liver and heart, in the State. Kidney transplant is the best solution for patients with end stage renal disease or kidney failure. 

There are 40 hospitals certified to perform kidney transplants in the State, with 11 in Bangalore. Only one government hospital in the City – the Institute of Nephro-urology – figures in this list. 

As for the liver and heart transplants, which could only be retrieved from a cadaver or brain-dead patient, only four and six hospitals, respectively, have the approval. 

However, unlike kidney, all the hospitals performing heart transplant (except one KLE Society’s Hospital and Research Centre, Belgaum) are located in Bangalore. Ditto with liver transplant hospitals. 

Liver transplant
Again, only one government hospital – the Bangalore-based Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology – for heart transplant has made its way in the list but not a single one for liver transplant. 

“None of the hospitals outside Bangalore have been registered for liver and heart transplant. One of the main reasons is lack of infrastructure to perform these transplants,” said Dr D Ramesh, Secretary, Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka (ZCCK). 

Compared to other organs, kidney transplant is a well-established procedure, less time-consuming surgical and the cost involved too is not as high as other organs. One of the main advantages is that the organ could be taken from live donors. 

“More than 20 transplants take place every month. So, a new corporate hospital finds it easy to establish kidney transplant facility,” he said.  Incidentally, any hospital that acquires licence or certification for one or multi-organ transplants, automatically gets registered with ZCCK too.

While 50-60 people undergo transplant every month, the number of hospitals applying for licence hasn’t gone up a lot, said Dr H C Ramesh, member secretary of Appropriate Authority for Transplant, the State authorisation body for transplant license.

Procedure
Each State has an appropriate authority for transplant, which recognises the hospitals and reviews the team of transplant doctors.  Once the hospital applies for registration and pays a fee, the authorisation committee inspects the hospitals on the basis of facilities, equipment and review of the transplant team. It is also compulsory for the hospital to nominate a transplant co-ordinator. However, it’s not a one time licence. The hospitals have to renew it every five years.

(Published in Deccan Herald on 14th March, 2010)

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