Organ Donation Scam: Licence of Ruby Hall Clinic Suspended
Pune: Days after sending a show-cause notice to the city-based Ruby Hall Clinic over alleged malpractice during a kidney transplant procedure, the Maharashtra Health Department has suspended the hospital's registration for organ transplantation, its lawyer claimed. A woman had allegedly posed as the wife of a patient so that he could undergo a kidney transplant at the...
Pune: Days after sending a show-cause notice to the city-based Ruby Hall Clinic over alleged malpractice during a kidney transplant procedure, the Maharashtra Health Department has suspended the hospital's registration for organ transplantation, its lawyer claimed.
A woman had allegedly posed as the wife of a patient so that he could undergo a kidney transplant at the private-run hospital.
After this came to light, the health department had issued a show-cause notice to the hospital late on Monday night and the latter had sent a reply. In response to the show-cause notice, the hospital had stated that the kidney transplant was permitted by the regional authorization committee of Sassoon General Hospital, Pune reports the Indian Express. The permission was based on the documents submitted to them which proved the relationship between the recipient and the donor.
"We have received a notice stating that our registration for organ transplantation is suspended for six months or until the report of the investigation committee comes," said advocate Manjusha Kulkarni, legal advisor of Ruby Hall Clinic.
The action was "unfair" and the hospital will look for a legal remedy, she added. As per the suspension notice, the health department concluded after going through the reply that the hospital did not scrutinize the documents of the donor and recipient such as Aadhaar cards, marriage certificate, age certificates, and educational certificates carefully.
Patients (organ recipients and donors) who are registered with the centre will be shifted to the nearest facility with their consent, it added.
"How come our registration is being suspended without concluding the probe? Police have also given a report that there were monetary transactions between the patient and the donor woman. The woman also admitted that she had given her kidney in return for money. In such a situation, how come we are being blamed," advocate Kulkarni asked.
Sanjay Deshmukh, assistant director, health services spoke to the Times of India about this, saying, "This is a temporary suspension and can be reverted based on the outcome of the final report of the inquiry proceedings that are underway by a committee led by the deputy director (health), Nashik circle, and by the Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER)."
Permission for the transplant had been granted by the regional authorization committee of the government-run Sassoon Hospital, the lawyer pointed out. Officials associated with the Ruby Hall Clinic said that they had followed all rules and protocols under the Human Organs Transplantation Act (HOTA), so therefore there was no reason for issuing a show-cause notice or suspending their registration/licence under Section 16 of HOTA act. The officials further said that they were unaware of any monetary transaction between the recipient and the donor
The CEO of Ruby Hall Clinic, Bomi Bhote told the Indian Express, "We have relied on the permission granted by the regional authorization committee, which is the statutory authority for approval of live organ transplant in Pune Division." Bhote added, "The suspension of the licence is an extremely unfair move. No inquiry has been conducted and in fact, we had filed a complaint with the police. We will seek legal redressal on this issue."
A woman from Kolhapur, who was allegedly promised Rs 15 lakh, fraudulently posed as the wife of a man who needed a transplant and donated her kidney to a young woman patient. In turn, the young woman's mother donated her kidney to the man.
Such a swap involving two patients and their relatives is carried out when the patients can not receive a kidney from their own kin because of a blood group mismatch.
On March 29, four days after undergoing the transplant surgery at Ruby Hall Clinic, the woman revealed her real identity after she had had a dispute over money. The hospital then alerted the police.
The surgery was performed on March 24, but when the woman did not receive the promised amount of money, she made a complaint application with the Koregaon Park police on March 29 alleging cheating. The hospital subsequently had also filed a complaint application with the police on the same day, alleging that the woman concealed that she was not the wife of the patient who had received the kidney during the procedure.
Police reported the incident to the health department which initiated an inquiry. A senior officer from the Koregaon Park police told TOI, "We are waiting for the report of the appropriate authority to further act in the case. The appropriate authority is likely to submit a detailed report to the court and a copy of the report will be sent to us. We will follow directives of the appropriate authority."
The Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the kidney transplant incident where a case of malpractice in kidney transplant procedure was alleged at the Ruby Hall Clinic following which the Pune police began investigating the matter. A woman was fraudulently made to pose as an organ receiver's spouse and was promised a good amount of money in return.