Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss today launched a National Organ Transplant Programme to improve the scenario for major transplantations like kidney, liver and heart in the country.
The proposed national plan will have emphasis on promoting cadaver donation. The national programme will aim to enhance the facilities for organ transplantation throughout the country, establish a network for equitable distribution of retrieved deceased organs, and increase the availability of organs through facilitation and attitude change.
The progarmme will also involve building up human resources. For this a body will be created for procurement, distribution of organs at national, regional and zonal level covering the entire country.
The Minister also announced that the government will provide free second class railway passes and free life insurance for the immediate relative of the donor as a token of appreciation.
Detailing the record of Tamil Nadu in the field of organ donation, Dr Ramadoss recounted the pioneering role of the State. He said that there was a lack of awareness that six organs such as two kidneys, two eyes, one liver and a heart can be donated by the patients who are brain dead.
In order to improve safety, equitability and monitoring in the field of organ transplant the Ministry had notified many changes in the transplantation of human organ rules in August this year.
These changes clearly delineated the role to be played by the Registered Medical Practitioners, and authorization committees so that scams and other malpractices can be avoided.
The Ministry of Health has proposed far reaching changes in the Transplantation of Human Organ Act (THOA), 1994. The proposed changes include expansion of the definition of ''near relatives'' to include grandparents and grandchildren, introduction of the concept of ''required consent'' and stricter norms where foreign nationals and minors are involved. The draft note for carrying out the amendments has been circulated to all states/Union Territories for consideration by the Cabinet.