Minister orders probe on involvement of official in kidney racket

rajitha senaratneHealth Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne says he has instructed a three member committee to investigate allegations that a Health Ministry official was also involved in an international kidney racket.

The Minister told reporters today that the three member committee investigating the alleged involvement of private hospitals in the racket, has now been asked to look at the latest allegation as well.

India’s The Hindu newspaper reported yesterday that an official of the Sri Lanka Health Ministry has been accused of being involved in the kidney racket.

The newspaper reported that lacunae in the law related to kidney transplantation in Sri Lanka helped kidney racket kingpin Suresh Prajapathi to make fast bucks.

Suresh, who was arrested by the Nalgonda police after busting the kidney transplantation racket recently, told his interrogators that gaps in the legal provisions helped him exploit the kidney donors and recipients. Hailing from Ahmedabad, the racket mastermind made use of doctors in Ahmedabad and Sri Lanka to operate the racket by offering money to them.

As per the law in Sri Lanka, the kidney recipient must convince a three-member ethical committee of the hospital, where the surgery was to be performed, that the donor came forward voluntarily to give the organ. The committee comprises a member from that country’s Health Ministry and two doctors from local government hospital there.

Investigations by Nalgonda police indicated that the racketeers were paying 500 US dollars (nearly Rs. 33,000 in Indian currency) bribe to the ethical committee for giving permission to each kidney transplantation surgery. “This comes to less than one per cent of the money being paid by the kidney recipient to Suresh,” the investigators told The Hindu.

Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that he wants a comprehensive report into the alleged racket and the report is expected to be handed over to him over the next few days. (Colombo Gazette)


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