Last month, an illegal organ racket was busted in Dharmapuri; a doctor and a tout were held
Close on the heels of the busting of an inter-State kidney racket last month, a special team of the Tamil Nadu CB-CID is monitoring kidney transplant-approved hospitals across the State.
Over 20 such hospitals in the city are also under the scanner.
On June 10, the Dharmapuri police unearthed a kidney racket with the arrest of a tout. The racket was spread across various districts including Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Namakkal and Coimbatore. A nephrologist attached to a Salem-based hospital was also arrested for his connections with the illegal transplant racket.
Following this, the case was transferred to a special team of the CB-CID. So far, 12 brokers have been arrested in connection with the case.
Now, the team has shifted focus to transplant-approved hospitals in the State. More than 20 hospitals in the city are being monitored.
According to the CB-CID, documents on kidney transplants performed at the hospitals over the past two years are being scrutinised. The team is examining details pertaining to organ recipients, donors and transplant approval.
The police are also investigating if kidney transplants were conducted in hospitals other than the approved ones.
As per the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, organ donation is possible between living related persons. Living unrelated persons can also donate out of ‘affection’ for the recipient.
The team is probing if there was illegal sale of organs through brokers. The process of approving the transplants is also being investigated, sources said.
The investigating team is also categorising transplants carried out legally and illegally. The illegal list prepared will be scrutinised and further probe will be conducted on donors, involvement of brokers, illegal payments made, if any, and most importantly, the role of the doctor and transplant hospital. Severe action will be initiated against those involved in illegal transplants, the police said.
Sources in the health department said the team has been enquiring about the process of kidney donation and transplantation starting with the approval process of the authorisation committee, which decides on kidney donations at regular sittings every week in Coimbatore, Madurai and Chennai.
The committee meetings are being videographed and the police team has focused on this too.
Officials said there are a total of 56 approved hospitals for kidney transplantation in the State, of which, nearly 25 are in Chennai.
“Officials of the directorate of medical services (DMS) are regularly monitoring the hospitals. The DMS and joint director conduct regular inspections at the hospitals,” an official said.