Hospitals approved for organ transplant

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A list of 10 hospitals officially sanctioned to carry out organ transplant surgery has been posted on the Beijing health bureau's website.

Tuesday's online announcement said other hospitals and clinics were not allowed to carry out such surgery without express permission from the Ministry of Health.

According to the bureau, the list will remain on the site until May 18, during which time the public can comment on institutions that should be added or omitted.

"We posted the notice not only to inform citizens about authorized hospitals but also to restrict the illegal organ trade and illegal surgeries in the city," said Ma Yanming, the bureau's press official.

Organ transplant surgery being carried out in Beijing includes liver, kidney, heart and lung replacements.

Most hospitals listed among the 10 offer only one or two types of surgery.

Chaoyang Hospital is the only institution on the list permitted to carry out three types of organ transplant: liver, kidney and lung.

"Giving hospitals certification for organ transplant is a good way to protect patients' lives," said Ma Lulin, director of the urology department at Peking University Third Hospital.

"Thanks to the qualified medical service, patients' survival rates will increase."

The hospital has carried out 100 organ transplant surgeries each year since 2001. The survival rate at the hospital has been 98 percent since 2004.

According to statistics from the Chinese Medical Association, 164 hospitals in China have Ministry of Health certification to carry out organ transplants.

About 15 million people in China join the waiting list for an organ transplant each year. Only around 10,000 of them annually are able to get the surgery they need.

The organ transplant industry is relatively new in the country and such operations were rarely carried out before 2001.

However, the number has increased rapidly in the following years and by the end of 2005, more than 40,000 surgeries had been carried out nationwide.

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