Health Minister calls for transparency in organ donation

NOTTOHealth Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has called for transparency in organ donation after the National Organ & Tissue Transplantation Organisation (NOTTO) becomes operational.

While visiting NOTTO premises at pathology buildings in Safdarjung Hospital, the minister said every life was worth protecting, and that there would be not VIP quotas or recommendations from officers in organ donation. He said the spirit of organ donation movement should not be mocked.

He said NOTTO would maintain a general waiting list and once a brain-dead patients family consented to organ donation, it would initiate a state-of-the-art retri, matching and transplantation operation to harvest the organs.

According to officials, a patient who registers his name for the waiting list will be given a number, which will not change even if he admits himself to another hospital later.

Dr Harsh Vardhan added that a call center was being set up to establish contact between donors and persons waiting to receive the organs.

NOTTOs web portal, which will cover kidney donations in the first phase, will be operational soon. Other organ donations will be facilitated over the next six months. The Rs 149-crore National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Programme will have NOTTO at its apex.

There would also be Regional Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisations in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Guwahati. Six state-level organisations are being planned at the new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences at Patna, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur, Bhubaneswar and Bhopal.

There would be facilities for preserving skin, cornea, bones and heart valves at the National Bio Material Centre in NOTTO.

After a 2011 amendment to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, it became mandatory to establish national registries for organ transplant to coordinate organ donation and transplantation efforts.

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