Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has called for total transparency in organ donation after the National Organ & Tissue Transplantation Organisation (NOTTO) becomes operational.
After a visit to Safdarjung Hospital on Monday, where NOTTO is housed on two floors of the pathology building, the minister said, “There will be no VIP quotas and no recommendations from officers… Every life is worth protecting and the spirit of the movement is not to be mocked.”
He said a general waiting list will be maintained and once a brain-stem dead patient’s family has consented to organ donation, a state-of-the-art retrieval, matching and transplantation operation will swing into action.
According to officials, a patient who registers his name for the waiting list will be given a number, which will not change even if he admits himself to another hospital later.
“A call centre is being set up to establish contact between donors and people on the waiting list in real time,” Harsh Vardhan said.
NOTTO’s web portal will be fully operational in the first phase to cover kidney donations in the next 10 days. Other organ donations will be facilitated over the next six months. The Rs 149-crore National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Programme will have NOTTO at its apex.
There would also be Regional Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisations in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Guwahati. Six state-level organisations are being planned at the new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences at Patna, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur, Bhubaneswar and Bhopal.
There would be facilities for preserving skin, cornea, bones and heart valves at the National Bio Material Centre in NOTTO.
After a 2011 amendment to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, it became mandatory to establish national registries for organ transplant to coordinate organ donation and transplantation efforts.