BEIJING Beijing health authorities have
approved 13 city hospitals to carry out human organ transplants
as part of efforts to rein in the illegal trade in organs,
state media reported on Monday.
Regulations banning human organ trade in China took effect
on May 1, but rights groups have accused local hospitals of
turning to lucrative organ sales and transplants to raise
funds, and say many of the organs come from executed prisoners.
The approved list included hospitals authorized to carry
out heart, lung, liver and kidney transplants, Xinhua news
agency said, citing the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.
"No other medical institutions are allowed to carry out
human organ transplants without approval from local health
authorities," it quoted a health bureau statement as saying.
"If they do, they will be punished according to the law,"
The report said Shanghai and several provinces, including
Heilongjiang and Shandong, had also drawn up lists of approved
hospitals as required by the Health Ministry.
About 600 hospitals nationwide had applied to continue to
perform transplants but only an initial group of 160 hospitals
would receive licenses under a Health Ministry order in April,
China, where religious and cultural taboos have
traditionally proved an obstacle to organ donations, faces a
huge shortfall in organ supplies for transplant.
About 1.5 million people need transplants each year in
China, but only 10,000 manage to find organs, Xinhua quoted the
Health Ministry as saying.