Minister of Health Vili Beroš and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković were in Bjelovar to mark the City Day today. Minister Beroš commented on allegations of organ transplants at the Zagreb Clinical Hospital Centre. The health inspectorate has temporarily banned the kidney transplant program from living unrelated donors. It is being determined whether medical ethics have been violated at the Rebro Hospital - that is, whether two suspicious kidney transplants were performed in that hospital in 2019.
Due to suspicion of the first cases of organ trafficking and two suspicious transplants at the Zagreb Clinical Hospital Centre from 2019, after all the facts were established, the inspection of the Ministry of Health took measures in accordance with its powers, announced the Ministry.
“Organ trafficking is something that there is no suspicion of at the moment. The inspection has already taken place, it was in that institution, they made an in-depth analysis, certain suspicions of dysfunction in the process itself were revealed. Transplantation is really something commendable and developed in the Republic of Croatia. This specific problem relates to transplants from unrelated living donors, which are extremely rare. There are simply no signs that the transplant system is endangered. The case was sent to the State Attorney's Office to investigate what the health inspection cannot do,” pointed out the Minister of Health Vili Beroš.
“The file was also sent to the Croatian Medical Chamber, and the process of organ donation from unrelated living donors was only temporarily halted,” said Beroš, adding that the irregularities are not great.
When asked why everything was handed over to the State Attorney's Office, the Minister said that it was due to suspicion of certain irregularities in the process, not due to suspicion of organ trafficking.
“Organ trafficking is something much more complex, problematic and an extremely difficult crime in relation to the elements that have been observed so far. And that is a series of psychosocial assessments, fulfillment of conditions, and delivery of documentation ... Precisely this disproportion or the fact that transplantation was rejected in one institution and accepted in another, was the element on the basis of which the health inspection acted. Far from being a suspicion of organ sales, but irregularities need to be established. Actions are underway that I cannot comment on, the institutions will determine which element was not adequate,” said the minister.
“The process of transplantation continues at full speed, except for those from unrelated living organ donors,” added Beroš, emphasizing that we are the first in Europe and the world in terms of the number of transplants.