Suspected hospitals receive ‘clean chit’

The inquiry report,on the recent kidney scam,has given a ‘clean chit’ to the two private hospitals that were under the scanner: Silver Oaks Hospital in Phase 9 and Surya Kidney Centre in Sector 69.

Written by Smriti Sharma Vasudeva | Chandigarh | Published: January 6, 2012 1:49 am

The inquiry report,on the recent kidney scam,has given a ‘clean chit’ to the two private hospitals that were under the scanner: Silver Oaks Hospital in Phase 9 and Surya Kidney Centre in Sector 69.

The nine-paged report,states that the two hospitals have all documents pertaining to each patient and the respective donors and have followed all norms as per the Organ Transplant Act.

In fact,the report also concludes that the validation of these documents,in case of those patients and recipients who are from other states may be verified at the level of the concerned authorisation committees of the respective state. The District Administration,however,says that the matter is far from over with the Mohali deputy commissioner stating that the matter will be investigated further and a Special Investigation Team will be constituted,for the purpose,soon.

The scam surfaced when the Lucknow Police,on December 25,arrested four people for allegedly luring people to the two hospitals for transplants. On December 27,the Mohali DC had ordered an inquiry into the matter and the Directorate of Research and Medical Education (DRME),Punjab had suspended the licenses of the two hospitals,and barred them from conducting transplants after their names surfaced in the matter.

Speaking with Chandigarh Newsline,Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam,who submitted the report said: “We will be investigating the matter further. The report has been sent to the SSP,Mohali and an SIT probe the matter further”.

What is questionable,however,is while the inquiry report claims that there is no need for hospitals to seek approval from authorisation committee’s in the state where the transplant surgery takes place,the Organ Transplant Act states that such approval is required. The same is being followed in PGI,Chandigarh and elsewhere in the country.

“As per the Act,it is mandatory to seek approval from the authorisation committee of the state where the transplant would be conducted in case of unrelated kidney transplants. On the contrary,the report puts forth that as per an amendment in the Act,there is no requirement of taking any such approval from the authorisation committee. The interpretation of the Act as claimed in the report has in a way wiped out the role of local authorisation committee completely”,said a senior doctor from PGIMER who is also a part of the authorisation committee of the premier institute.

The report also mentions that after a letter,dated November 1,2011,sent by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the DRME,Punjab,which is the competent authority over hospitals conducting organ transplants,the DRME had issued a letter of its own stating that to ensure complete transparency in kidney transplants,hospitals should obtain approvals even in the case of related donor and patient,from the local authorisation committee.

The report further urges the DRME,which receives monthly records of donors and patients from hospitals,to verify the claims and conduct more checks.

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