Mumbai: Mumbai is one of the few cities to see a surge in organ donations. Not only do they save lives but they are also generating a lot of funds. Experts say the healthcare sector could get richer by Rs 5,000 crore.
It's a new year, and a new lease of life for 68-year-old Nivrutti Shinde. Diagnosed with end stage liver cirrhosis last July, he received a donated liver within two weeks of registering for a cadaveric organ at Mumbai's Fortis Hospital. "The donor is my God, when need be, I will donate all my organs to save lives," he says.
With his life transformed, all of his family members are pledging to donate their organs. In fact, doctors in Mumbai say there's been a spurt of cases of organ donation in the past six months. There's more awareness, they say, since the death of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Mumbai has seen 43 kidneys and 18 livers donated in 2012, but the situation is grim in the rest of the country. Sadly, organs are available to only 10 per cent of the patients who need them, according to AIIMS.
Dr Rakesh Rai, Liver Transplant Specialist, Fortis Hospital, says, "There are multiple issues. All the doctors are not aware of cadaveric organ donation, how to identify a cadaver, who can be a potential donor. Then the next step is public awareness. Majority of the public even in the big cities is not aware about this cadaver donation."
India, unlike all developed countries, still doesn't have a national database. Again, Mumbai is showing the way. Dr Gustad B Daver, President, Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee, says, "There is an urgent need to translate this to a national level. And how, right now, the infrastructure in organ transplants is such that if there is a matching donor in Meerut, a patient in Delhi also cannot get the organs."