Harsh Vardhan
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan [File Picture]PIB

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that he would try to ensure complete transparency in the case of organ donations after the National Organ & Tissue Transplantation Organization (NOTTO) starts its operations.

"There will be no VIP quotas and no recommendations from officers," Vardhan told The Indian Express. "Every life is worth protecting and the spirit of the movement is not to be mocked."

He said that the whole donation system would be done via a state-of-the-art online database, which will contain the details of the organ to be donated as soon as the family of the deceased (or brain-stem dead) consents to the donation. The database would then start looking for possible recipients, with the matching details.

There will be a waiting list for the patients who need organ transplantation, and nobody can bypass this waitlist – not even a VIP or a celebrity. Waitlisted patients would be given a number, and they must wait for their turn to get the transplant.

"A call centre is being set up to establish contact between donors and people on the waiting list in real time," said the Health Minister.

In the first phase, the NOTTO would cover just kidney donations. NOTTO's web portal is expected to be up and working in the next 10 days and this whole project will cost the government around ₹149 million.

The main office of the NOTTO would be in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and subsidiary offices will be based in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati and Chandigarh.

The facilities at NOTTO would also provide bones, heart valves, cornea and skin transplantations. The 2011 amendment to the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994 made it necessary to have a national database where organ transplantation would be registered, in order to regulate the efforts for donation and transplantation.