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December 3, 2020

Transplants Agency, in danger of being disbanded

The National Transplants Agency’s existence is in jeopardy, as staff have been reduced substantially and hiring is no longer possible, Realitatea TV quotes institutional sources as saying.

‘The Agency might not operate anymore. There are only a few of us left, four doctors, who have to cover the whole country, and, if one of us resigns, the rest of us will go too, since we can’t function as such,’ the sources said.

The institution ceased operating at full capacity after the ovule trafficking scandal at the Sabyc Clinic in the summer of 2009. The incident led to the Agency’s executive director, Dr. Victor Zota, being dismissed, and two more employees submitting their resignations. ‘The situation at the National Transplants Agency was and remains under question given posts being blocked in the budgetary system. We now operate with skeleton staff, yet, we do. There are four doctors in all, two in Bucharest and two in the country, and a few administrative staff. We used to have a full organizational chart, yet, since the scandal at the Sabyc Clinic in the summer of 2009 we have been operating on the edge,’ institutional sources cautioned. Transplant experts says that, unless for the Agency, the life of many Romanians would be jeopardized. ‘If the Agency doesn’t operate anymore, even fewer people will benefit from organ transplants, which are already falling short of patients’ and Romania’s needs. Therefore, people whose lives could be saved, won’t be saved on organizational grounds, as the ministry should get more involved, in my opinion,’ Prof. Dr. Irinel Popescu, head of the General Surgery and Liver Transplant Centre at the Fundeni Institute, and president of the Scientific Council of the Transplants Agency, said.

Statistics show Romania stands bottom transplants wise in the European Union, with 0.5 donators for 1 M inhabitants. Other national rates range from 31 donators per 1 M inhabitants in Portugal, 26, Belgium, 23, France, 21, Italy, and down to 0.5, Romania.

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