To give further fillip to the cadaver organ donation movement in the State, it has been decided that small hospitals maintaining cadavers will be entitled for compensation.

According to the Advisory Committee meeting, “A private donor hospital is entitled to be reimbursed of all costs incurred by it on the donor cadaver from the time the donor family consents to donate, including assistance in removing, transporting and preserving the organs, as determined by it.”

The committee fixed a ceiling of Rs.75,000 on the amount that can be recovered.

It specified the manner in which this could be done and the sources of recovery.

“The total cost as above, will be distributed equally on all major organs such as kidney, liver and heart removed from that cadaver by private hospitals.”

Private recipient hospitals who take these organs will reimburse their share of the cost to the donor hospital on request.

However, both government donor hospitals and government recipient hospitals are excluded from this procedure.

The move is an effort to bring more hospitals into the cadaver donation network of the State.

While over 500 organs have been donated since the inception of the programme from over 90 cadavers since October 2008, an analysis reveals that the Government General Hospital itself has contributed over 40 per cent of the cadavers.

In fact, the GH got involved in the project only from October 2009. The other major contributor has been Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.

Mainly from Chennai

Apart from the initial spurt, the organs have all come mainly from Chennai, Principal Secretary, Health, V.K. Subburaj said.

“The maximum number of transplants has also taken place in Chennai. We are concerned about this and are working out projects to bring more hospitals into the network so that people across the State benefit,” he told The Hindu.

Transplant Co-ordinator J. Amalorpavanathan says over the last eight to 10 months, there has not been a single cadaver donation in the southern and western sectors.

These areas have the facilities for the process and have successfully carried out transplants in the past.

The decision is expected to encourage smaller hospitals to take up at least part of the process of organ donation.

“Currently there is no interest, since maintenance of a cadaver can cost quite a bit. To incentivise it, we are offering to subsidise at least part of the costs of doing so. We must be very clear that it is not payment for procuring the organ; that is illegal. This is merely a return on part of the costs of maintaining a cadaver in a hospital,” he adds.