The state may soon come up with a policy to reimburse hospitals the charges for donor maintenance, that is maintaining the organs of the deceased donors before the organs are actually retrieved for transplant. Activists and doctors who have been working in organ donation movement feel that such a move will boost the movement.
“The state has taken up a number of measures to increase organ donation and transplant. We will be taking up this issue on adopting a policy to reimbursing donor maintenance cost,” director medical education Pradip Mitra said in a recently held meet with various stakeholders in the city.
Maintaining the organs of the donor comes at a cost. Once family of a brain dead consents to donating the organs, these have to be maintained so that they remain fit for transplant.
The allocation of the organs, finding a matching recipient takes time but states like Tamil Nadu and Maharastra it takes lesser time since their system has gone way ahead.
But in the state, going by the previous donations, the time gap between brain death declaration and the actual organ retrieval have been 24 hours to 48 hours. For example Anjana Bhowmick whose heart, liver and two kidneys were transplanted into four new patients on Wednesday had suffered the brain death on Monday itself. Doctors at Narayana Superspecialty Hospital Howrah where she was admitted, kept maintaining her organs. In between convincing the family for the donation to the actual retrieval, more than 24 hours had lapsed.
“I am sure the hospital must have incurred must have incurred around 75.000 in maintaining the donor organs. Is it fair to ask the donor family to cough up this amount or ask the hospital to bear the cost? That is the reason why there has to be proper system of compensating the donor maintenance cost to the hospital that declares brain death of the donor,” said Dr Vatsala Trivedi, a pioneer in organ donation movement in Maharastra.
According to the Maharastra model, a corpus was created by the zonal transplant coordination committee (ZTCC). The organisation reimburse the donor hospital for organ maintenance.
“In most cases patients’ families want to stop paying once the patients is brain death. And they are right on their way. One we are convincing them for organ donation and at the same time we cannot be burdening them with further cost,” said Tapas Raychowdhury, heart transplant surgeon at Fortis Hospital Anandapur.
Source: Times of India