New Delhi: India needs to have a good network of hospitals which are affordable to common man, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said Tuesday.
"One of the most important challenges today is to provide good healthcare. It has to be affordable also," he said at the release of a commemorative stamp to celebrate the 15th anniversary of India's first successful liver transplant at Apollo Hospitals here.
The first successful pediatric and adult liver transplants in India were performed at Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi in 1998. Sanjay Kandaswamy, a two-year-old boy from Kancheepuram, was the first child to receive a successful liver transplant Nov 15, 1998, with his father as the donor.
Prasad said: "This is in recognition of the extraordinary talent of people in healthcare in India."
"The success of the transplant programme is one such stellar example of the quality of our doctors and the innovation they have brought in this field," he added.
The minister said that it was important to see how to encourage organ donation and stop racketeering in organ trade in India.
Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals, said: "Within the span of these 15 years, approximately 4,500 liver transplants have been performed in India."
Anupam Sibal, group medical director, senior pediatric gastro-enterologist and hepatologist at Apollo Hospitals, said: "Today is a special day for all of us. The journey that we started in 1998 has culminated in hundreds of lives being saved."