In what may come as a big respite for poor patients who are in need of organtransplant, the budget proposes to provide free organ transplants — heart, liver and kidney — for all BPL and non-income tax paying APL families. A grant of Rs. 30 crore has been set aside for this.
Sources said this may be extended to all patients in need of organ transplant in future. Although the government has launched the Universal Health Scheme in the State, organ transplants are not covered under it.
According to C.N. Manjunath, director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and member of Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust, who was involved in chalking out this budgetary proposal, nearly 20 heart, 40 liver, and 125 kidney transplants are carried out in the State every year. “We had planned to name it ‘Punarjanma’ scheme,” he said.
Kidney transplants are relatively less expensive, compared with liver and heart transplants. While a heart transplant costs nearly Rs. 12 lakh, the cost of a liver transplant ranges between Rs. 25 lakh and Rs. 40 lakh, depending on the condition of patients in private hospitals.
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