CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Liu Kun
A national organ donation network is set to be launched in China next month.
That's according to the Health Ministry who have been operating a pilot donation scheme, along with the Red Cross Society of China, in 16 cities.
Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu says the scheme will officially begin after the Spring Festival.
"Right after the upcoming Spring Festival, China's Red Cross Society and Health Ministry will host a meeting to launch the campaign to encourage the public to voluntarily donate.
Organ donation in China hasn't literally started, it is only conducted in a pilot fashion. But it will be launched nationwide soon."
Currently organ donations in the country can only come from specigic government pilot schemes, consenting death prisoners, or the relatives of the patients themselves.
However annually, out of 1 and a half million, the number of patients actually getting organs is under 1 percent.
At the same time, over 90 percent of the 6 hundred donors over the past 3 years, are said to have suffered from medical debt after making the donation.
Ji Yunsong, with the Zhejiang Provincial Red Cross, says the new national donation system will also tackle the issues faced by the donors.
"We'll provide the family of the donors with differentiated amount of compensation according to their conditions. Families with children and elder people will get an higher amount. But all of the compensation will be under 50 thousand yuan, because we don't want the public to think of it as an organ purchase."
However concerns have also been raised of doctors relaxing their treatment of those patients who have agreed to donate an organ.
To address these concerns, the national donation system will also reportedly set up an evaluation team, comprising of doctors specialising in different fields.
Their job will be to independently assess a patient's suitability to donate.
With the new system, the Chinese government also says it's hoping to phase out the dependence on death row prisoners for organs in the future.
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