SHAH ALAM: Mohd Razif Kamarudin, 58, was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2011 but he did not require dialysis then.
His wife Rosnani Ahmad, 57, decided in 2012 that she would give him one of hers.
“The transplant was scheduled for January 2014,” he said.
However, Razif is one of the patients affected by new Health Ministry guidelines which required private hospitals to meet certain requirements before they can be licensed to provide transplant services.
Razif wrote an appeal letter to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam but was told by an aide that “it was a policy matter” and “policy matters cannot be questioned anymore”.
In June, as his kidneys deteriorated, he made a second appeal and was referred to Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) but was told it could not be done.
Razif started dialysis in June.
In a letter to The Star in October, Razif said he was losing hope.
“I know there is still a chance for me but bureaucracy is preventing it,” he wrote.
Another patient known only as Devi was one of the affected ones.
Devi, who is in her 30s, was also supposed to do a transplant last year. Her mother is the donor.
She went to Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) where she is scheduled for a transplant surgery in April 2016, a two-year wait.
For those who have the means, they go to Singapore where a transplant could cost S$250,000 (RM749,500).
As a result of the new guidelines on private transplants, UMMC’s patients have swelled to about 30 and the normal waiting list of three to four months is now two years.
HKL’s nephrology department head and senior consultant Datuk Dr Ghazali Ahmad said the guidelines on private transplants had not impacted HKL’s numbers.
“All cadaveric donations are done in HKL and Selayang Hospital only. The number of live and cadaveric cases remain at less than 50 in HKL. Selayang does less than 25 transplants a year,” he said.
Dr Ghazali said HKL currently had more than 100 (kidney) patients awaiting transplants who already had suitable donors.
The number of patients have increased because HKL’s urology operating theatre and intensive care unit have been closed for nearly two years for renovation.
“Unless facilities are improved or increased and dedicated transplant teams are set up, we can’t cut down on the waiting list of more than 100 patients,” he said.