The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Organ hospital clears red tape
A doctor attends to a patient at the health camp on Saturday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Calcutta, March 19: The state government seems finally to have removed the obstacles for Calcutta's first and the country's biggest organ-transplant hospital, after months of delay, bureaucratic wrangles and confusion.

The government has decided to allocate land at Rajarhat for the 750-bed hospital after housing minister Gautam Deb, prodded by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, met K. Ravindranath, the managing director of Global Hospitals, Hyderabad.

'The meeting went off very well and the minister proactively discussed the project in detail. We expect that within two months allocation of over 20 acres of land for the hospital should be complete,' said Amit Ghose, urologist and chairman (health) of the chamber, who was present at the meeting.

The Telegraph had earlier reported how Ravindranath, who was keen to set up a hospital in Calcutta, was toying with shifting base to Mumbai because of red tape in Bengal. But chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee met Ravindranath late last year and persuaded him against it.

Ravindranath, who was present at Well Being Show 2005, a three-day health camp organised at a city hotel by the chamber, said the hospital group was geared up to start operations in Calcutta soon. He said that, with the shortage of organs, transplantation from cadavers would be the only way to save hundreds of lives.

'The only way to meet the acute shortage of organs is to popularise cadaveric transplantation ' transplantation of organs from a person declared brainstem dead. The organs can be supported artificially for a few hours and even a day or two before being transplanted,' Ravindranath said at a seminar.

'Cadaveric transplantation is the future and cadaveric organs ' organs in a cadaver ' should be treated as national resources instead of being allowed to be cremated or buried,' Ravindranath said.

The heart, heart valves, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, bone, corneas and skin can be transplanted from a cadaver.

'We carry out heart, lung and kidney transplantation now. Very soon, we'll start stem cell transplantation and islet cell transplantation (for type I diabetics). Islet cell transplantation is in its early days and is being done in only a handful of hospitals in the UK and Canada. We'll do it for the first time in Asia in a couple of months,' he said.

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