Kolkata: A visiting UK doctor, one of the pioneers in liver transplant operations, said here today that he is shocked to find that West Bengal doesn`t have a cadaver donor programme which can save millions of lives.
Dr John Buckels of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said in India only 0.05 person per million of population donates organ while in UK the corresponding figure is 12.5 and in USA 21.
The Transplantation of Human Organ Act was passed by the central government in 1994 but many states in India including West Bengal are yet to enact it.
The Birmingham-based surgeon who has so far done more than 1000 liver transplants told reporters that patients have excellent long-term survival after transplant but the biggest problem is shortage of donors.
Tata Medical Center`s deputy director Dr V R Ramanan said India needs 200,000 kidney and 100,000 liver transplants every year but only 3 per cent of organs are available.
"There is poor public awareness on the issue and organ retrieval infrastructure is lacking in India and more so in West Bengal. Organ donation is the need of the day," he said.
The hospital`s director Dr Mammen Chandy said the state government should follow the footsteps of Tamil Nadu which has established 37 transplant centres across the state.
"The government should facilitate in the creation of an organ sharing network among private and government hospitals," Dr Chandy said.