Alleged Cash-For-Kidney Scam At Indraprastha Apollo Hospital: Health Ministry Body Orders Probe

New Delhi: The National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisation (NOTTO) under the Union Health Ministry has ordered an inquiry into allegations of cash-for-kidney scam against Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. “The NOTTO under the Union Health Ministry has asked the State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) to inquire into the matter,” an official source said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Indraprastha Medical Corporation Ltd (IMCL) on Monday asserted that it follows every legal and ethical requirement for transplants, including government guidelines. It refuted a report which alleged that it was involved in “cash-for-kidney racket,” PTI reported. The IMCL, a part of the Apollo Hospitals group.

Apollo Hospitals has denied a media report claiming its flagship facility in Delhi, the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, is at the centre of an international” cash-for-kidneys racket that sees poor people from Myanmar flown to the city to have their kidneys harvested in exchange for Rs 80-90 lakh (£2,700 to £3,100) each. The illegally acquired organs are then sold to ailing rich patients from around the world, including the United Kingdom.

“To be clear, the IMCL complies with every legal and ethical requirement for the transplant procedures including all guidelines laid down by the government as well as our own extensive internal processes that exceed compliance requirements,” a company spokesperson said.
The spokesperson was responding to a query about an international media report which has alleged that the hospital is involved in a “cash-for-kidney racket”, with poor people from Myanmar being enticed to sell their organs for profit.

Elaborating on the hospital’s process on kidney transplants, the spokesperson said the IMCL requires every donor to provide Form 21 notarised by the appropriate ministry in their country, according to the report.

“This form is a certification from the foreign government that the donor and recipient are indeed related,” the spokesperson said and added that the government-appointed transplant authorisation committee at IMCL reviews documents for each case and interviews the donor and the recipient.

IMCL re-validates the documents with the embassy concerned of the country. The patients and donors undergo several medical tests, including genetic testing, the report added, quoting the spokesperson.

“These and many more steps far exceed any compliance requirements for a transplant procedure and ensure that donor and recipient are indeed related as per applicable laws. IMCL remains committed to the highest standards of ethics and to delivering on our mission to bring the best healthcare to all,” the spokesperson asserted.

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