Friday, April 13, 2007

Transplantation licences withdrawn

Transplantation licences withdrawn

Ramya Kannan

Two Chennai hospitals found guilty of forging organ transplantation orders

CHENNAI: T wo hospitals in the State have had their licences for organ transplantation withdrawn, it is reliably learnt. Suspension notices have been issued to 13 other hospitals too. It is for the first time since the enactment of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994 that the State has initiated such strong action against hospitals violating the rules.

While the licence (with respect to organ transplantation) of M.R. Hospital in Chennai was cancelled, that of Aswini Soundarya Nursing Home, also in Chennai, was not renewed.

Both were found guilty of forging transplantation orders from the State Authorisation Committee, appointed to clear live unrelated donors under the Act, to go ahead with the procedures. The TOHO Act has a provision that allows the Appropriate Authority to "suspend the registration of any hospital without issuing any notice," in public interest.

Suspension notices have been issued to 13 other hospitals that were found to have improper documentation for transplantation performed. In some cases, HLA typing results, appropriate details about donors and details of other tests performed were missing.

These hospitals will be sent show-cause notices under the provisions of the law, and given a chance to explain. This need not necessarily result in cancellation of licences, informed sources said.

The hospitals are Vedanayagam Hospital, Coimbatore; Kavery Medical Centre, Tiruchi; Ramakrishna Nursing Home, Erode; Chennai Transplant Centre (Madras Medical Mission), Chennai; PSG Hospital, Coimbatore; Kovai Medical Centre, Coimbatore; G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Hospital, Coimbatore; Galaxy Hospital, Tirunelveli; Devaki Hospital, Chennai; ABC, Tiruchi; Meenakshi Medical Mission, Madurai; Chennai Kaliappa, Chennai; and Apollo Speciality, Madurai.

According to the Act, the Appropriate Authority may suo motu or acting on a complaint, issue notice to any hospital to show cause as to why its registration should not be suspended or cancelled. If, after giving the hospital a reasonable opportunity of being heard, the Appropriate Authority is satisfied that there has been a breach of any of the Act's provisions or the rules made thereunder, it may, without prejudice to any criminal action that it may take against the hospital, suspend its registration for such period it deems fit, or cancel its registration.

In this case, the sources said, the cancellation or renewal of licences of the 13 hospitals would depend on whether they are able to provide satisfactory explanations for the irregular documentation.

The Act requires every hospital to be registered to "conduct, or associate with, or help in, the removal, storage or transplantation of any human organ." In late January, the Health Department appointed a team of officials headed by the Director of Medical Services to inquire into kidney transplantations, especially those involving live, unrelated donors.

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THE HINDU

http://www.thehindu.com/2007/04/13/stories/2007041318480100.htm

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