Egmore hospital not in list of centres performing transplantation

The Government Ophthalmic Hospital, Egmore, one of the major referral centres for eye care, has been left out from the list of recognised facilities for performing corneal transplantation in the State. Officials attribute it to a “clerical error.”

The hospital's name does not feature on the State government's website of cadaver transplant programme.

The list on the website, updated on January 31, 2012, has the names of only nine eye hospitals. It also provides details of the date for renewal of licence to conduct transplantation.

Some of the major private eye hospitals also do not figure in the list. The Thanjavur Medical College Government Raja Mirasudar Hospital, the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai and the Government Headquarters hospital in Erode, have been listed as eligible to conduct corneal transplant. The Erode and Madurai hospitals have been accorded approval until 2013 and the Thanjavur hospital's licence is valid till February 2014.

In Chennai, Sankara Nethralaya, Sankara Eye Hospital, Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre and Dr.Agarwal's Eye Hospital are in the list.

For a hospital to conduct transplantations, it must be licensed. Prior to the inspection, the hospital seeking to carry out transplantation must provide details about surgeons and anaesthetists, who must be registered with the Tamil Nadu Medical Council. The licence is given for a five-year period after inspection.

“Delayed not denied”

K. Vasantha, head of the Government Eye Hospital, Egmore, said the approval has only been delayed, but not denied. The hospital, sources add, is conducting transplantations. According to J.Amalorpavanathan, State coordinator in-charge of maintaining the transplant registry, 11 hospitals in the State are authorised to conduct corneal transplantation. He said that hospitals seeking to conduct transplantation must comply with certain requirements. “Sometimes, the lower-level clerks carry forward the rules to the extreme. For instance, one of the requirements listed for a transplantation surgery is a perfusionist. Such a technician is needed for a cardiac transplantation but not for cornea transplantation. We are trying to ensure that such small glitches do not occur. We will also update the registry soon,” the official said.

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012