India is the largest democracy in the world, with a population of more than 1.3 billion. The country faces several challenges to provide basic healthcare for its residents. According to the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, 75% specialists, 37% 623819 beds, and 68% of an estimated 15097 hospitals are in the private sector. Currently, the private healthcare system offers 80% of kidney transplant surgeries. With a pool of experienced surgeons, wide network of top level hospitals, and the latest medical technology, India serves as a perfect spot for kidney transplant. In fact, many people worldwide visit India to reap the benefits of an effective yet affordable kidney transplant.
Two Tier system for Kidney transplantation in India
India has a two-tier system for kidney transplantation. The government sector administers one, and the other is controlled by the private sector. The total number of kidney transplants performed in India is 3.25 per million. Let’s have a look at the difference between these two tiers.
Dialysis, follow-up, and transplantation are free for poor people in the government sector. However, there are non-profit centers and corporate hospitals in the private sector. The non-profit centers perform transplants for a cost, whereas in corporate hospitals, the transplantation cost and follow-up are expensive for an average Indian patient.
As state and central governments have taken positive steps, deceased donor transplant is rising in India. Moreover, a few non-government organizations (NGOs) have also contributed.
Indian Healthcare System and the Economic Realities
According to a report, the last recorded current Gross Domestic Product per capita in India was 1972. 758 US Dollars in 2020. Despite the private healthcare system being inexpensive, Kidney transplantation is unaffordable for most Indians. In fact, India spends around 5.2% of its GDP every year on healthcare coverage, with just 0.9% coming from the government contribution. On the other hand, healthcare insurance coverage is also accessible to less than 15% of the population.
With approximately 850 nephrologists and 50 transplant surgeons for India’s 1.13 billion population, the difference in basic healthcare coverage has focused attention away from the need for specialists in kidney disease management.
Transplantation and Government
Although healthcare is a matter of state, the central government runs the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) in India. According to THOA, the donors should be medically fit, and the State Authorization Committee must clear voluntary altruistic and emotionally related donors.
New Initiative in Kidney Transplant in India
The Indian Society of Transplantation and the Transplantation Society have taken a new initiative. This initiative was with the support of the industry, establishing the new key opinion leaders with the transplant registry formation. These groups create guidelines for kidney transplantation to enhance transplant mortality in India. HL Trivedi et al. recently came up with a new initiative. In this initiative, he uses the Ahmedabad immune tolerance protocol. This is to create tolerance while reducing immunosuppressive agents needed in Kidney transplants.
The Future of Deceased Donor Program in India
Presently, the death rate in India is 0.08 per million population each year. Therefore, organizing the dead donor programs in India is a challenge. An NGO called MOHAN ( (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) promoted deceased donor organ procurement and distribution in the early part of the decade. Moreover, since 1999, in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, this NGO has facilitated the sharing of less than 400 deceased donor organs. The donation rate is much higher in the four states of India, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.
Success Rate of Kidney Transplant in India
Certainly, today, you can find many private and government health centers in India that offer the best kidney transplantation. Advanced technology, state-of-art equipment, experienced surgeons, and amazing infrastructure made India the best destination for a kidney transplant. When it comes to the success rate of kidney transplantation, the price in India is among the highest in the world. In fact, when compared to deceased donor transplants, live donor transplants have a substantially higher success rate. The success rate of living donor transplants is 90-95%, whereas, for dead donor transplants, it is 85-90% success.
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