Transplant operations face shortage of organs
China faces a severe shortage of organs for transplant operations, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
It is estimated that about 300,000 patients every year need transplants, but only about 10,000 operations are performed.
China announced in December that it was going to stop using organs from executed prisoners for transplants as of Jan 1. Voluntary organ donations from citizens are now the only source for such surgeries.
Health authorities have taken measures to encourage voluntary donation of organs. As a result, donations have increased rapidly, the commission said.
Despite the increase, the severe shortage of organs isn’t likely to be eased quickly, said Chen Xinguo, a liver transplant surgeon.
Chinese people often believe a body should be left intact after a person’s death, except for individuals who have committed great sins, he said. (Photo 3)