SOON AFTER a Metropolitan magistrate’s court in Mumbai granted bail to the five doctors accused in the alleged kidney transplant racket in Powai’s LH Hiranandani Hospital, the Maharashtra government Thursday made it clear that there is a need to strengthen laws regarding punishment for those involved in illegal kidney rackets.
Deepak Sawant, Minister of Public Health, and Girish Mahajan, Medical Education Minister, aired their views at a press conference when newspersons sought to know the government’s position on bail being granted to the medics.
With the state’s image taking in a hit following the surfacing of the transplantation racket, the government Thursday also announced plans to intensify the organ donation drive.
Announcing that a statewide organ donation campaign is being launched, Mahajan declared that the government has also launched an online initiative for organ donations. “Donors can now pledge organs by visiting a weblink provided on the official website of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research,” said Mahajan. “While donors can pledge organs with the Zonal Transplantation Coordination Committee (ZTCC), this would provide them an additional alternative,” he said.
Sawant, meanwhile, informed that while the Organ Donation Campaing 2016 was rolled on Independence Day, mega awareness rallies would be undertaken across the state on August 30 and August 31. On September 1, the state has plans to felicitate newly enrolled donors.
Clarifying it as just a suggestion at present, Sawant further said: “We are considering the suggestion of asking hospitals to support medical expenses of the families of donors life long.”
The state has also planned a walkathon to raise awareness on organ donation in Mumbai’s Marine drive on August 30. Divisional level, district-level, and taluka-level committees across the state have also been formed to spread the word on the government’s organ donation drive.
Since 1994, when the Human Organ Transplantation Act came into being, records show that there have been a total of 11,364 kidney transplants, 468 liver transplants, 19 heart transplants, three lung transplants, and 469 eye transplants in the country. Presently about 5 lakh kidney patients, 50,000 liver disease patients, and 2,000 heart patients are on the country’s organ transplant wait list.