Karnataka

Free organ transplant: 73 patients have benefitted since inception of scheme in 2019

A total of 73 below poverty line (BPL) patients have undergone free organ transplants and have got 622 cycles of free immunosuppressive medication under the Organ Transplantation Scheme after Karnataka launched in the scheme in 2019. 

A total of 73 below poverty line (BPL) patients have undergone free organ transplants and have got 622 cycles of free immunosuppressive medication under the Organ Transplantation Scheme after Karnataka launched in the scheme in 2019.  | Photo Credit: file photo

A total of 73 below poverty line (BPL) patients have undergone free organ transplants and have got 622 cycles of free immunosuppressive medication under the Organ Transplantation Scheme after Karnataka launched in the scheme in 2019. 

The Karnataka Government has so far spent ₹3.1 crore on the free transplants and ₹62.40 lakh on free supply of life-saving medicines that have to be taken life-long post-transplant. 

As organ transplants are not covered under Arogya Karnataka-Ayushman Bharat Scheme, the government had in 2019 launched the free organ transplantation scheme — heart, liver, and kidney — for all BPL patients in government and private-empaneled hospitals. It had set aside ₹30 crore for this scheme in 2019’s budget.

 The government had fixed package rates of ₹2 lakh for kidney transplant, ₹10 lakh for heart transplant, and ₹11 lakh for liver transplant. A sum of ₹1 lakh has been fixed as financial assistance for post-transplant immunosuppressive medication.

According to data from the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust (SAST), the nodal agency implementing the State’s health schemes, 23 patients underwent transplants and received 82 cycles of immunosuppressive medicine in 2019-20. 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-21, when all activities had come to a standstill, nine patients underwent transplants. In 2021-22, 32 patients underwent free transplants. In 2022-23, till July 22, nine patients have undergone free transplants.

Each of the 73 patients (who have undergone the transplants) have been receiving free immunosuppressive medication at a cost of ₹1 lakh each year.

SAST officials said that the immunosuppressive medication for the first two months are included in the package of the hospitals where the transplants are carried out. Subsequently, the medicines are provided through SAST life-long for the organ recipients.. 

“While SAST is responsible for empanelment of private hospitals, pre-authorisation and payment for transplants to hospitals is as per the mechanism followed in the Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka Scheme,” said State Health Commissioner Randeep D.

How to avail the facility

A patient should first visit a public health institute (Institute of Nephro Urology, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, PMSSY on Victoria Hospital campus or Institute of Gastroenterology in Bengaluru), or any district hospital (for those who are from other districts), where he/she will be evaluated. The patient should register for organ transplant after getting approval from the authorisation committee (hospital level/district/State level authorisation).

In case of cadaveric transplants, the procedure can be conducted in government or private empaneled hospitals as per the registration of the recipient and availability of the organ in the retrieval centre. The allotment policy of Jeevasarthakathe, the State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO), which is the nodal agency that facilitates cadaver organ donations, is followed.

Government rate is not feasible for private hospitals

Not all private empaneled hospitals are keen on doing free transplants as the rates are very low, especially for kidney transplants.

A doctor from a private empaneled hospital says, “While it usually costs around ₹7 lakh for a renal transplant, the government’s rate is just ₹2 lakh. This is not feasible for us.”

While 52 of the 73 transplants have been carried out in the State-run Institute of Nephro Urology, 10 in Narayana Health (NH), eight in M S Ramaiah Narayana Heart Centre, and one each in Chirayu Hospital, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences and KLES Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital and MRC. 


Our code of editorial values

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 12:32:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/free-organ-transplant-scheme-karnataka-sast-jeevasarthakathe/article65671978.ece