MUMBAI: Hospital-based organ transplant authorisation committees that have conducted less than 25 such surgeries in the previous year will have to be dissolved, Bombay high court has ruled. A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Mahesh Sonak on Friday directed that hospitals that have conducted 25 or more organ transplants in the previous year can set up institution-level committees to process applications.
The court told Maharashtra government to notify hospital-level authorisation committees by November 30. In case such hospitals conduct less than 25 organ transplants next year, the hospital-level committee will have to be dissolved. Applications for organ transplant will then be processed by district-level committees.
The bench also told the state government to upload details of organ transplants on a website to aid transparency.
The court was hearing petitions filed in 2013-14 by patients awaiting transplants. The petitions had alleged delay in approvals by the six regional authorisation committees appointed by the state to process applications for organ transplants. In December 2015, the state brought about changes to Transplantation of Human Organs Act. The amendment provided for hospital-level authorisation committees for institutions which conduct 25 or more organ transplants annually. Applications from hospitals which conduct less than 25 transplants were to be forwarded to district-level panels.
Advocates Uday Warunjikar and Siddhesh Pilankar, counsels for the petitioners, said the district-level committees had not been established at many places. The court directed the state to establish the panels within two months. The HC had earlier emphasised that hospital-level committees have to be notified or there would be no way to oversee and monitor their functioning. The court said that not notifying hospital-level committees would have “serious implications”.
The HC told the state the publicise rules and provisions on organ transplants too.