Maharashtra Government Permit Hospitals to Work as Organ Retrieval Centers

The death of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh due to multiple organ failure had persuade Maharashtra government to allow designated hospitals to function as “organ retrieval centre” and has made it compulsory for the hospitals to disseminate information regarding brain dead patients to the concerned authorities.

After getting nod from government, a committee under the supervision of health secretary was formed around 6 months back for suggesting measures to improve organ donation in the state. Last week, the panel had a final meeting following which a report was submitted to the government on Wednesday.

The basic criterion for a hospital to function as “retrieval centre” is that it must possess 25 beds and Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “We will identify hospitals with ICUs to operate as retrieval centers where the organ from brain dead patients can be retrieved. Retrievals will be done by experts, who will perform transplants in authorized hospitals,” Health Minister Suresh Shetty said.

Shetty also stated that he is looking forward to call a meeting with experts to identify measures to organize the process of organ donation in coordination with hospitals. The panel meeting that was held on Wednesday also discussed measures to persuade college students to donate organs while filling admission forms.

“The right to permit organ donation after death or in brain dead patients lies with immediate relatives. There is a need to create awareness to encourage donations. In 80 per cent cases, relatives decide to donate after counseling, though the patient may never have expressed a desire to donate,” a health department official said.

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