Kidney transplantation is the last resort for patients suffering from end stage renal disease. Nevertheless, the situation in India is such that when doctors advise kidney transplant to patients, their families start counting their pennies. This is because kidney transplant in India cost is very high. The cost can go up to as much 20 lakhs or more depending on several conditions. The cumulative cost that one has to incur in India for kidney transplant can be divided into two categories – pre transplant cost and post-transplant cost.
The pre transplant cost includes dialysis cost, physician fees, cost incurred in various regular tests, hospitalization cost etc. The post-transplant cost includes physician fees, cost of tests performed after surgery, cost of immunosuppressant drugs, cost of investigations and hospitalization. One of the major costs involved among all these is the cost of immunosuppressant drugs. The other major cost involved is the cost of the surgery and replacement of the organ itself which involves hefty doctor’s fee and lengthy hospitalization expenses.Apart from these costs the families also need to spend for travel, lodging and food because often the treatments centres are far away from residence. Taken together the amount is a hefty one for even well to do families. In fact, many poor families ,even fail to arrange for the transplant even if they manage to secure a healthy kidney.
Incompatibility Of Organ Compounds The Problem
Apart from the cost aspect, the other aspect is the availability of donor of a. You have to get a kidney either from a living person or from a brain dead person whose organs are intact. Incompatibility of tissue is the biggest limiting factor in acquiring kidney donor. In most of the cases kidneys are available, but it does not match the tissue of the patient. Though, researchers have recently successfully altered immune system of a patient to make the patient compatible with any kidney, this process is hugely expensive. So the aspect of cost for kidney transplant in India is compounded by the scarcity of compatible donor.
Government Intervention Is A Must
The government needs to come out of its cocoon and help poor and middle income patients in conducting such kidney transplants. At least if the surgeries can be conducted in government hospitals at low cost and the cost of immune suppressant drugs can be brought down, the total cost can come down by a huge margin.
However, for people from other parts of the world, the cost for kidney transplant in India is low. This makes India a lucrative destination for a kidney transplant for them. It has to be said that medical tourism is one of the booming sectors and in terms of contribution of revenue to the government of the country it stands a distinct second. Patients from all over the world have zeroed in upon India as their favorite destination and this is in terms of medical needs. When you compare the rate charts the cost related to a kidney transplant is cheaper by almost half when you get it done in the advanced countries.