IN THE wake of the kidney racket reported at the Powai-based Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, even as city nephrologists and urologists’ associations agreed to resume kidney transplants, several patients of kidney diseases are bearing the brunt, as hospitals become wary of processing documents related to transplant surgeries.
Binoy Shah (32) requires an urgent kidney transplant. While his mother is willing to donate her kidney and all documents have been scrutinised and approved by the local authorisation committee at Kohinoor Hospital earlier this month, Shah’s surgery was cancelled on August 11 following Dr Mukesh Shah’s arrest. “He is the only surgeon attached with the hospital who does kidney transplants. Kohinoor asked us to go to some other hospital,” said Binoy’s uncle Sudhir Shah, who has been visiting various hospitals for a week.
Shah’s case was transferred to Breach Candy Hospital, where nephrologist Bhupendra Gandhi and transplant coordinators have asked him to get an additional approval from the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) despite having all approvals and identification documents. “The doctors are refusing the transplant without additional assurance from DHS. We are worried that Binoy may suffer some problem due to the delay,” said Shah.
The 32-year-old manager at Accenture has a creatinine level exceeding 10 mg/dL; normal range is between 0.6 mg/dL and 1.2 mg/dL. He is currently on dialysis support.
Like Shah, Nitin More (38) is a chronic kidney failure patient on dialysis for six years. In 2012, he registered with the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre’s (ZTCC) wait-list and has been hoping for a cadaver donation since then. There are 3,109 other patients in Mumbai waiting for a kidney transplant on ZTCC’s list. More is a technician with a pharmaceutical company and requires dialysis thrice a week. “I have no option but to wait for a transplant whenever it is made possible,” he said.
The procedure for live transplants for these patients is set to get tougher with not just doctors but even hospitals shying away from scrutinising and approving documentation. An official from Jupiter Hospital admitted that internal scrutiny was done of over 20 kidney transplants undertaken by Dr Mukesh Shete and Dr Mukesh Shah since January 2015 to check for discrepancy.
The hospital is now carefully taking up each case to check for forgery, if any. “For patients, the process will definitely get prolonged,” said the official.
At Hinduja Hospital, a decision has been taken to ask patients to get two photocopies of identification documents attested by a magistrate.
In case patients are from outside Maharashtra, a Directorate of Medical Education and Research approval has been made mandatory.
“Currently, there are no transplants scheduled at our hospital due to this racket. We are letting attached nephrologists take a call on whether they want to take up a case,” said a Hinduja Hospital official.
Dr Gauri Rathod, incharge of organ transplants, said, “It is only certain hospitals that are sending patients to us for a secondary verification. Others are following procedure as per Act and authorising.”
The wait for a kidney has taken lives of patients. Anjali Karandikar, on wait-list since 2012, had no matching donor. While her husband Deepak Karandikar was willing, his blood group was not compatible. “We were hoping for a swap transplant. But even that was getting delayed. She required dialysis thrice a week,” said Deepak. On April 5, Anjali succumbed to renal failure.