Hospitals have been given six months to register with the Provincial Monitoring Authority, a new body set up to enforce regulations in human organ transplants and curb the illegal organ trade.
Health Minister Khalil Tahir Sindhu presided over the first meeting of the authority at King Edward Medical University (KEMU) on Monday. The participants unanimously approved the nomination of Prof Faisal Masood, the KEMU vice chancellor, as the acting administrator of the authority. They also decided that the authority’s office would be set up at KEMU and any person could approach it and considered proposals for the establishment of regional and divisional authorities.
The PMA was established under the Punjab Human Organs and Tissue Transplant Act of 2012 and can monitor transplants and enforce standards for recognised medical institutions and hospitals. The authority can also investigate allegations of a breach of any provision of the Act.
In its first meeting, the authority also decided that the hospitals or medical institutions conducting transplants as well as new institutions would be given six months to apply for registration with the PMA. The Health Department would advertise in the press inviting applications from such institutions.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sindhu said that the authority was set up to curb the illegal trade in human organs. He said that criminals were removing people’s organs after kidnapping them, creating a climate of fear in society. He said that he would recommend to the government that the punishment for illegal transplants be increased, like in acid crime cases. Health Secretary Hassan Iqbal, Additional Health Secretary (Technical) Dr Anwar Janjua, Dr Izhar Chaudhry of the Pakistan Medical Association, Prof Riaz Tasleem of the Punjab Healthcare Commission, Deputy Home Secretary Waqar Hassan, and authority members Prof Imtiaz Akhtar, Prof Nadeem Butt and Prof Azizur Rehman also attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2013.
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