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People's Daily Online>>China Society

New lease of life for donations of organs

By Shan Juan  (China Daily)

08:33, November 21, 2011

Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu visits Tian Bingrong, 64, who underwent a lung transplant at Wuxi People's Hospital in East China's Jiangsu province on Nov 17, 2011.(China Daily)

WUXI, Jiangsu - Organ donations will be promoted and the system expanded to boost the number of transplants, Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu said.

A public organ donation system is still undergoing trials and covers just 16 regions on the mainland, Huang told China Daily in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

"Starting 2012, the trial system will be expanded nationally and authorized organ transplant centers, which do not carry out transplants using publicly donated organs over two years, will be suspended from performing the procedure," Huang said.

Huang, one of the leading specialists in the field, underwent liver-transplant training in Australia.

As of now, 163 hospitals on the mainland are authorized by the ministry to do transplants. About 10,000 are carried out annually, according to official statistics.

In 2009, the Red Cross Society of China and the Ministry of Health piloted a system that focused on public donation, procurement, a volunteer program and no payments.

By the end of October, 128 people had donated organs through the system, enabling more than 320 transplants, statistics from the society showed.

Shi Bingyi, vice-chairman of the Chinese Transplant Society, said although China is now on the right track, fully establishing a public-donation system will take time given that it took the United States around 30 years to establish such a system.

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