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Friday, February 15, 2013

Organ transplant: Doctors cheer move to scrap NOC

Paperwork Will Become Easier, Say Nephrologists

Mumbai: Anil, a 50-year-old kidney patient from Bangalore, spent two months running from one government office to another to gather 63 pages of proof that he is a law-abiding resident of Karnataka."Ihadto gothe police station several times and a policeman came to my house later to interview each of my family member for details of my disease," said Anil who is currently in Mumbai to meet his doctor. 
    If all the paperwork is in order, Anil will hopefully undergo a kidney transplant as soon as possible. His Punebased sister will donate one of her kidneys for him. 
    On Friday, Anil had mixed feelings when he heard that the Maharashtra government had decided to do away with the no-objection certificate (NOC) stipulation. "If only this stipulation had come a few months ago, I wouldn't have had to spend time gathering those 63 pages," he told TOI. 
    His doctor, Bharat Shah, who had moved the Bombay high court against the need for an NOC for interstate transplants when the donor and recipient are related, is ecstatic. "The problem is that this NOC was interpreted andfolloweddifferently in different states. Some states never insist on paperwork if the donor and recipient are related," said Dr Shah. 
    For many patients and their doctors,the newscalled for celebration. 
    "It will be a boon for patients,'' said Hinduja Hospital's nephrologist Jatin Kothari, who is also a member of the Zonal Transplantation Coordination Committee. He said securing an NOC adds six to eight weeks to any transplant. "A patient of mine from Uttar Pradesh needed eight months to get his permission. And it was his own sis
ter who was donating a kidney," said Dr Kothari. 
    City doctors are hopeful that several patients will benefit from this amendment, and that it is implemented at the earliest. 
    Dr Shah said that he had moved the high court because of the plight of his patients who hailed from economically poor economic backgrounds. 
    "Such uneducated pa
tients would invariably fall prey to touts who promised to help them with the paperwork. They would spend on dialysis aswell astoutswhile they should be saving for their medical care," said Dr Shah. "We can help and guide patients within the state. But if they are outsiders, even we are not aware of the system in other states, and so we cannot guide them," Dr Shah added.


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