Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Organ transport: Maha govt seeks pvt aircraft rate regularisation

Mumbai: With rates of private air-carriers that transport cadaver organs for life-saving transplantation procedures continuing to vary, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) claims to have made an appeal to state medical education department to push Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to regularise rates of private air-carriers flying inter-city and inter-state for medical purposes. “This issue has been ongoing for sometime now. We requested the medical education department to approach the union aviation ministry to make air-travel affordable for poor patients,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, Director, DMER.
According to Lalit Gupta, joint general manager at DGCA, no such communication has come from any state so far. State medical education secretary Rajagopala Devera said, “If charges are too high, we will see how to bring them down. A reasonable price is necessary for patients. Discussions will start now.”
In a letter to state medical education department, DMER stressed on the need for affordable prices for cadaver organ transplant. Cadaver organ transplant is a procedure to retrieve organ from brain-dead patients to save the life of a chronically ill patient. In 2016, Mumbai saw 58 cadaver donations, and in 2017, 15 donations so far. Doctors claim that if people in Mumbai donate organs following brain stem deaths, dependence on other cities will drastically reduce. “Inter city transport also needs close coordination. If say, a heart is not transported from retrieval site to recipient patient in four hours, it may go waste,” said Dr Anvay Mulay, heart transplant surgeon.
At least three private air carriers— MAB Aviation, United Helicharters and Leo Air Charter Services— have shown interest in flying cadaver organs for transplantation. In December 2016, a heart transport procedure between Nanded and Mumbai was called off after a private carrier demanded Rs 10 lakh to fly a heart to Mumbai’s Fortis Hospital.
17/05/17 Tabassum Barnagarwala/Indian Express