The Tamil Nadu government today asserted that organs for transplant are made available to foreign recipients only if Indian patients are either not compatible or not ready to receive them.
“Only during such circumstances, and according to our rules and law,it (organs like heart for transplanting) is made available to others (foreigners) honestly in a transparent way,” health Minister C Vijayabaskar said in the assembly.
Replying to a query from DMK member R Masilamani, who cited a report in a national daily, alleging that patients worldwide got priority in cadaver transplants, he said it was “wrong news.”
Organs are made available only if all hospitals–government and private sector- in the state and later in the rest of the country, declined to accept organs harvested from brain-dead patients for reasons like patients “not ready,” or if these were not compatible for them, he said.
He cited laurels received by Tamil Nadu for successful organ (from brain-dead) transplant facilitation from WHO, the Centre and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and added that such reports are ‘a cause of anguish’, going by the state’s track record.
The prime Minister, he pointed out, had stated that the Tamil Nadu success model should be replicated by other states.
He said those needing organs should register online with Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (TRANSTAN).If a patient was declared brain-dead in a government hospital,priority is given only to one in the same hospital in need of an organ.
If no need arose at the same hospital and if other state run and private hospitals in Tamil Nadu also say they do not need the organ for reasons like “patient not ready,” only then was it open for hospitals in other states to get them,he said.
In case all other Indian hospitals decline to receive the organs, they should “decline online.”
Only after these hospitals decline to do so, were these organs made available to foreign nationals, as otherwise the organs would go waste, the minister said.
Such procedural aspects came under the ambit of ‘State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation and National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation’, he said, adding the functioning (of the transplant facilitation activities) was being held transparently and honestly.
The cadaver transplant programme is run by TRANSTAN. The Tamil Nadu body coordinates and supervises the entire range of transplant activities, including live, cadaver and tissue transplants.