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No Pune Hospital Opts for Organ Harvesting

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No hospital in Pune has registered itself as non-transplant organ retrieval centres (NTORCs) despite Maharahstra setting a deadline of October 15 for hospitals with ICU and operation theatres to come forward to encourage organ donation.

State public health minister Suresh Shetty said that low awareness could be the probable cause of the poor response. He has directed the health department to conduct an awareness drive. Besides, the registration date has been extended till October 30.

About 90 hospitals in the city and some 60 hospitals in Pimpri Chinchwad have ICU and operation theatres.

The state government had set October 15 as the deadline for hospitals that want to be designated as organ retrieval centres to enroll with the respective zonal transplantation coordination committee (ZTCC). The decision to set a deadline was taken on September 17.

Earlier, organ retrieval was permitted only at hospitals that performed organ transplant surgeries. To encourage organ donation, the health department issued a Government Resolution (GR) recently stating that hospitals with an operation theatre (OT) and an intensive care unit (ICU) can enrol with the Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Committee (ZTCC) to become organ retrieval centres.

There are less than 100 transplant centres in the state. More people will come forward to donate organs if hospitals with OTs and ICUs register themselves as retrieval centres, said a health department official. There are eight hospitals in Pune who are registered with ZTCC Pune as transplant centres since 2004.

“Hospitals registered as non-transplant organ retrieval centres are permitted to certify brain death as stipulated in the government order and thereafter can carry out organ retrieval. But they are not permitted to perform transplant of human organs,” said a senior state health official.

“Hospitals need to be motivated to come forward for this noble task,” said senior nephrologist F F Wadia, who is also the secretary of ZTCC, Pune, a registered body with the charity commissioner. It was formed by the appropriate authority through a government resolution. Its primary aim is to promote cadaver organ transplant.

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