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Hiranandani kidney racket haunts nephrologists

In the backdrop of alleged kidney transplant racket at the Hiranandani Hospital, a group of senior nephrologists and urologists here have put on hold fresh transplants till the government steps in to provide clarity on procedural intricacies involved in such surgeries.

Shrirang Bicchu, a nephrologist at Bombay Hospital and a member of Mumbai Nephrologists Group, said, “We are very afraid (to carry out transplants) after the development. It’s not a protest but it’s out of fear. As there is no clarity on donors transplant, we have stopped taking fresh transplant cases.”

However, those cases, which are already lined up at different hospitals across the city, will be taken care of, he said.

The move comes after police unearthed an alleged racket at the privately-run Dr LH Hiranandani hospital in Powai and arrested five doctors on August 9.

“The recent arrest of doctors has raised apprehensions in our fraternity and this can be repeated with us also if we fail to scrutinise documents which is not our job,” he said, adding that not only nephrologists in Mumbai but across the state are following the suit and have stopped taking fresh cases.

Senior nephrologist Umesh Khanna, a member of Mumbai Nephrologists group, said, ” All the nephrologists across the city would continue performing cadaver transplants which do not involve the process of verification but we are not going to take up fresh cases as such transplants require several verifications.”

He said he has got support of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Association of Medical Consultants (AMC).

“We are not expressing our solidarity with the accused doctors (in the kidney scam) but are expressing our fear in this manner,” Khanna said.

Another nephrologist requesting anonymity said doctors in the scam are being haunted by document discrepancies that can land them in jail.

“If our reservations are not considered seriously by the government, we will stop performing transplant procedures completely,” he said.

This is why the group has decided to seek legal opinion and immediate intervention of Directorate of Health Services of Maharashtra, he added.

110 doctors in the city are a part of Mumbai Nephrologists Group.

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