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Cash-for-kidney scam: Health Ministry body orders probe against Apollo Hospitals unit

The National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organisation (NOTTO) under the Health Ministry Tuesday ordered an inquiry into ‘cash-for-kidney racket’ allegations against Indraprastha Medical Corporation Ltd, a unit of the Apollo Hospitals group, news agency PTI reported citing sources.

Earlier on Monday, the Indraprastha Medical Corporation Ltd (IMCL) rejected the allegations of ‘cash for kidney racket’ asserting that the hospital follows every legal and ethical requirement for transplants, including government guidelines.

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The hospital said each foreign donor is required to provide a certification from their respective foreign governments that the donor and recipient are indeed related before undertaking a transplant.

“To be clear, IMCL complies with every legal and ethical requirement for the transplant procedures including all guidelines laid down by the government as well as our own extensive internal processes that exceed compliance requirements,” PTI quoted the hospital spokesperson as saying.

“The allegations made in the recent international media against IMCL are absolutely false, ill-informed and misleading. All the facts were shared in detail with the concerned journalist,” the spokesperson added.

Elaborating on the kidney-transplant process in IMCL, the hospital’s spokesperson said the Indraprastha Medical Corporation requires every donor to provide ‘Form 21’, notarized by the appropriate ministry in their country.

“This form is a certification from the foreign government that the donor and recipient are indeed related. The government-appointed transplant authorization committee at IMCL reviews documents for each case, including this certification and interviews the donor and the recipient. It further re-validates the documents with the concerned embassy of the country. The patients and donors undergo several medical tests, including genetic testing,” ANI quoted the spokesperson as saying.

“These and many more steps far exceed any compliance requirements for a transplant procedure and ensure that donor and recipient are indeed related as per applicable laws. IMCL remains committed to the highest standards of ethics and to delivering on our mission to bring the best healthcare to all,” he added.

It is important to note that under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act in the country, only close relatives like spouses, siblings, parents, and grandchildren can donate organs.

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Updated: 05 Dec 2023, 04:57 PM IST

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