July 15, 2008

Kidney Transplants on Hold in City

By Prafulla Marpakwar

MUMBAI: Exactly two months after crime branch sleuths stepped in to probe a seven-year-old kidney transplant case, there has been a sudden drop in such surgeries across the metropolis.

At least four leading hospitals which account for 95 of the 450 transplants done annually in Mumbai have stopped performing these operations to avoid being harassed by the law-enforcing agencies.

Hinduja Hospital medical director G B Daver confirmed that the hospital had stopped kidney transplant operations after two of its doctors were summoned by the crime branch.

Two more hospitals have stopped such surgeries even as a fourth has adopted a wait-and-watch approach before taking a decision. According to doctors, the decision could hurt patients waiting for kidney transplants.

Two fraternities of superspecialists-urologists and nephrologists- have decided to take up the Hinduja Hospital case with the state government. "We are concerned about the harassment some of our colleagues are undergoing. We will approach the government for clearer guidelines on kidney transplants," said Urology Society secretary Anil Brado.

Director of medical education W B Tayde said he would convene a meeting of all the parties involved in the debate next week to resolve the issue. Both Brado and Tayde admitted that there had been a decline in the number of kidney procedures performed in Mumbai in recent months.

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