Health April 25, 2023 | 9:34 am

Organs go to waste in the Dominican Republic due to lack of coverage

According to the Ibero-American Organ and Tissue Transplantation Network, organ donation is an extremely selfless act as a single donor can save up to eight lives and benefit up to 75 people. Unfortunately, the Dominican Republic has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in Latin America due in part to the limited coverage of transplant programs by the healthcare system. While kidney transplants are approved and about 100 are performed each year, other organs such as the heart, liver, lungs, intestines, pancreas, and tissues are not covered. This means that low-income individuals are unable to afford these procedures due to the lack of comprehensive financing.

There are approximately 250 patients with terminal renal failure, 800 requiring liver transplants, 500 requiring heart transplants, and over 100 in need of bone marrow transplants annually in the country. The director of the National Institute for the Coordination of Transplants (Incort), Fernando Morales Billini, believes that a law providing full coverage by Health Risk Administrators (ARS) for all organs except for the kidney would be beneficial for these individuals. However, Sisalril, the Superintendence of Health and Occupational Risks, claims that establishing financial coverage requires the presence of care networks, protocols, and cost information for effective coverage.

Although there are 13 hospitals in the country equipped to perform transplants, there are still obstacles preventing potential donors from contributing. These include family refusal, inadequate maintenance, and medical contraindications. Despite the challenges, the director of Incort believes that up to 500 potential donors could be produced in the country each year.

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My Name Is Not Important
April 26, 2023 5:29 am

The DR needs a free and universal healthcare. One of the few countries, including the United States, that does not have those.

Paul Tierney
April 26, 2023 8:28 am

There should be some form of universal health care for those in need of transplants. It seems the government is humanitarian to have enough revenue to subsidize health care for all including the undocumented but lacking funds to help underwrite the costs of transplants for Dominicans in need of them. The present situation is bitter because it very selective.

This situation is more offensive when for years on end corrupt government officials have been robbing the treasury of $billions upon $billions, $billions that could have been used to bankroll an organ and tissue transplantation network among many other needed programs and projects to improve the country.