Thursday, February 14, 2008
In recent years, many Indian cities - like Chennai in southern India - have become hubs of a murky business in kidney transplants, despite a 1994 nationwide ban on human organ sales (the Transplant of Human Organ Act states only relatives of patients can donate kidneys).
An influx of patients, mainly foreigners, seeking the transplants, has made the illicit market a lucrative business. Some analysts say the business thrives for the same reasons that have made India a top destination for medical tourism: low cost and qualified doctors. In fact, medical tourism is expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2012, according to government estimates.