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Union Health Ministry working on ‘One Nation, One Organ Allocation’ policy

-By ArdorComm Media Bureau

In order to create uniform guidelines for registration, allocation, and other components of the process, the Union Health Ministry is developing a “One Nation, One Organ Allocation” policy in collaboration with the states, according to official sources.

Recently, the Supreme Court directed the Health Ministry to investigate and take appropriate measures over some states’ requirements that patients seeking to register in the cadaver transplant registry for organ transplantation submit copies of their domicile certificates.

“A uniform policy will help patients in seeking transplant from deceased donors at any hospital in the country giving them a lot of flexibility,” an official source said. The ministry has already recommended states to remove the domicile criterion for registering people who want organs from deceased donors for transplant procedures as part of its efforts to strengthen the policy.

Also, it has removed the 65-year-old age limit for people registering to receive organs from deceased donors. The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) has made the required adjustments to the regulations, enabling patients 65 years of age and older to register for organ transplants from deceased donors.

“For registering patients requiring organs of deceased donors, earlier the upper age limit was 65 years. With this restriction removed, patients of all age groups can register for deceased donor organs. The changed guidelines have been put on the website of the NOTTO,” an official source said.

Additionally, noting that some states have been charging fees ranging from Rs 5,000 to 10,000 for registering such patients, the Union Health Ministry has requested that they not do so, stating that doing so is against the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014’s provisions. This was noted by official sources on Thursday.

According to an official, states including Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Kerala have been charging such fees. Organ transplants increased from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022, according to official data. From 2013 to 2022, there has been a total of 9,834 kidney transplants from living donors, up from 3,495 in 2013, and 1,589 transplants from deceased donors which has increased from 542.

The total number of liver transplants from living donors has increased from 658 in 2013 to 2,957 in 2022 and from 240 to 761 in 2022 from deceased donor. The total number of heart transplants have increased from 30 in 2013 to 250 in 2022 while lung transplants from 23 to 138.

Source: PTI

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