Govt rejects permission to Manipal for organ transplant

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NT NETWORK

PANAJI

The state government on Friday rejected the application of Dona Paula-based Manipal Hospital for permission for organ transplant, decision on which was kept in abeyance since October last year.

“Regarding the decision for granting permission to Manipal Hospital for organ transplant which was kept in abeyance for the last several months, I am putting this story to rest and they (Manipal) will never be given the permission as long as I am the Health Minister. The application before me stands rejected,” said Health Minister Vishwajit Rane while interacting with media at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at Bambolim.

He said that he will not succumb to pressure, and ensure that no hospital in Goa other than the GMCH gets the nod for organ transplant.

“I have taken this decision in the interest of the state and I don’t want to become the root of scams and rackets. We have to be on a cautious path for organ transplant. I feel safe when transplants are carried out within the premises of GMCH because I have faith in my doctors and the system,” he said.

The permission for organ transplant to Manipal Hospital was rejected on three occasions, and during the third time, the decision was kept in abeyance since October 2017. Some members of the appropriate committee, which was formed by the government to inspect the Hospital had written to the government that they were asked to sign on blank pages after which Rane had kept the decision in abeyance.

Meanwhile, stating that he was not informed by Health Secretary J Ashok Kumar before granting permission to Manipal Hospital for the retrieval of organs from a brain-dead patient, Rane said that the role of Kumar will be probed by a committee headed by additional secretary, Health.

“The secretary, Health, had no power to give unilateral permission to Manipal Hospital to undertake organ retrieval. It is absolutely illegal, as the bureaucracy ought to understand that they should be within the lines of their operational aspects. They can’t cross the rules. They can’t go beyond their barriers,” he said adding that permission should not have been granted to Manipal Hospital, as it is not a recognised institute.

Rane said that Kumar should have followed proper procedure and consulted officials of GMCH and other concerned people before taking any decision. Rane said that he has directed Dean of GMCH Dr Pradeep Naik to comply with the formalities and obtain all necessary approvals to set up State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) within 30 days in GMCH.