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Chinese hospitals banned from carrying out organ transplants for foreigners without permission
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08:09, July 04, 2007

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Chinese medical institutes are banned from carrying out human organ transplants for foreigners without permission from health authorities, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of Health.

Mainland hospitals will also have to report to provincial health authorities before offering Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan patients organ transplants and the request will be submitted to the Ministry of Health, said the statement.

Hospitals and surgeons are forbidden from carrying transplant surgery for foreigners on tourist visa in China and Chinese surgeons are forbidden from conducting operations outside the Chinese mainland for foreigners, it said.

The statement stressed that Chinese citizens, including permanent residents in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, will be given priority in the supply of human organs.

The ministry ordered provincial health authorities to punish hospitals who violate the new regulations severely and provincial authorities have been authorized to revoke transplant surgery licenses.

China is faced with a huge gap between patients who need functional organs and limited donations. About 1.5 million patients need organ transplants each year, but only 10,000 can find organs, according to statistics from the ministry.

China's State Council tightened controls on human organ transplants by issuing its first regulation on human organ transplants in April, banning organizations and individuals from trading human organs in any form.

The regulation went into effect on May 1 and nearly two months later,Beijing Municipal Health Bureau approved an initial group of13 hospitals to carry out human organ transplants.

Source: Xinhua

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