Sri Lanka had recently become the go-to destination for Indians needing organ transplants, owing to the low cost of transplantation and easy connectivity. However, the Sri Lankan government has put a temporary ban on foreigners coming to the country for kidney transplants after the arrest of three men running an illegal racket from Andhra Pradesh. The men had allegedly recruited 60 people to travel to Sri Lanka for giving their kidneys to Indian patients, according to a report in Bangalore Mirror.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Wall Street Journal reports that Vikram Jeet Duggal, Nalgonda district SP, stated that they are also investigating the involvement of doctors in four Sri Lankan hospitals where these transplants were allegedly conducted. Two of the hospitals named were Nawaloka and Western Infirmary, but they did not comment on the allegations. The other two – Lanka Hospitals and Hemas – reportedly stated that they follow all the rules. However, genuine patients who travel to Sri Lanka for organ transplants from India are now in a quandary. The Health Ministry has to approve any organ transplant operation in Sri Lanka and the sale of organs for money is against the law there, like in India. But the country does have flexible laws with regard to ‘unrelated’ kidney donation, states the report.Dr Keshavamurty R, head of the authorisation committee for kidney transplant in Karnataka, has told the daily that states like Tamil Nadu, where organ donation is high, are models that should be followed.The Transplantation of Human Organs Act states that a patient is prohibited from receiving organs from persons other than a spouse, son, daughter, father, mother brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild.The Tamil Nadu organ donation model is considered as one of the best in the country. The state has an organ donation rate of 1.8 per million population (pmp) – seven times higher than the national average. Chennai has a rate of 14 pmp, which is on par with developed countries like Germany.Tamil Nadu is the only state in India that has Public Private Cadaver Transplant Programme (CTP) which integrates government hospitals, private hospitals, NGOs, donors, recipients, police and social workers. This is the backbone of organ donation.

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Sri Lanka’s ban on organ transplants to affect Indians