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Indians go to Sri Lanka for the beaches, stay for the kidneys

Indians go to Sri Lanka for the beaches...stay for the kidneys - Bangalore Mirror: Besides Sri Lanka, Iran and Singapore also perform 'nonrelated' transplant procedures. Pointing to the preference for Sri Lanka, Dr Sankaran Sundar, director and chief nephrologist, Columbia Asia Hospital said, "In the case of Singapore, one has to obtain a medical visa and the procedure could cost Rs 1crore along with post-operative care. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has visa-on-arrival and the cost is close to Rs 10-12 lakh if a person takes a donor from here and close to Rs 25 lakh if the donor is arranged there."

He said transplants are usually cleared by an authorisation committee and a monetary incentive to the recipient may be acceptable.

"In fact, it was observed that a lot of monks came forward to donate their kidneys and use the monetary compensation for the benefit of their monasteries," Dr Sundar said.

Nephrologists in India have been pressing for flexibility in rules to curb shortage of organ donation. Dr Sudharshan Ballal, chief nephrologist, Manipal Hospital says, "The wait for transplant is so long that the patient prefers moving to Sri Lanka.
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