Sri Lanka Launches 3-Member Panel To Probe Kidney Racket

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Sri Lanka has formed a three-member panel to probe an organised organ harvesting racket involving patients and donors from India, two days after it banned kidney transplants for foreign nationals.

The panel consisting of two lady doctors appointed by Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has launched the probe. Its members will visit hospitals linked to the racket, officials said on Saturday.

Temporary ban

Mr. Senaratne on Thursday said he had ordered a temporary ban on kidney transplant operations involving foreigners after the Indian police warned Lanka that some patients from India had paid donors for organs and had the transplants carried out at private hospitals in Colombo.

The Indian police had named at least six Sri Lankan doctors involved in the alleged illegal transplants.

Stern action

Lankan doctors’ trade union, the Government Medical Officer’s Association, said they would take stern action against any of their members if they were found involved in illegal transplants.

The Health Ministry said that the current temporary ban involving foreign nationals for kidney surgeries may be extended depending on the panel’s report.

Media here reported that four local hospitals had been arranging transplants for kidney patients from India with organs from their home country. The panel will also probe how many procedures had been carried out on foreign nationals and the relationship between the donor and the patient.

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Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.