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Organ action as liver transplants go on roll
(06/16/2008)

The nation's first mandatory liver-transplant registry system was established in Shanghai at the weekend.

China is also gearing up to allow residents to declare on their drivers' licenses that they will be an organ donor.

Under the registry system, all 80 domestic hospitals carrying out liver transplants must record every transplant on the centralized system.

Hospitals which fail to register with the new system can have the authority to do organ transplants withdrawn, according to officials from the Ministry of Health.

Experts said this registry system could ensure a life-long follow-up for every liver recipient, their situation after surgery, medication monitoring and after-effects.

"Information from this system gives us scientific evidence to gear up for international exchanges and stimulates the healthy development of liver transplants in China which currently face ethical obstacles, a lack of technology criteria on transplant surgery, legislation and organ shortages," said Huang Jiefu, vice minister of health.

"The registry system can effectively enhance survival rate and the quality of life of liver recipients, as doctors can intervene and change previous treatment plans for any patients by being aware of their condition," the vice minister said.

In addition, the ministry is teaming up with sevenfacilities, including China Red Cross, to work out an organ-donation policy within five years that will allow Chinese people to declare they will become an organ donor while applying for a driving license.

"There are some 100,000 people killed in traffic accidents in the nation every year," the vice minister said. "Organs donated by those deceased can save a lot of people who are suffering from organ failure."

He said the policy would include a compensation system for the donor's family and all the procedures would be carried out under the supervision of the government.

There are between a million and 1.5 million people who need organ transplantsin the nation, which onlymanages about 10,000 transplant operations every year due to a shortage of organs, government officials said.