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China bans organ transplant operations for foreign tourists

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday that China prohibits organ transplants for foreign visitors carrying a tourist visa and the ministry will deal harshly with domestic medical institutions involved in illegal organ transplants. China opposes organ transplant for foreign tourists in accordance with international practice, said MOH spokesman Mao Qunan at a press conference.

Highlighting the lack of organ donors in the country, the official said that in China, organ transplants should be conducted for domestic patients who have an urgent need for the operation.

On May 1, 2007, China issued the Provisions on Human Organ Transplant. So far, the ministry has granted over 160 medical institutions the license to conduct such operation. It has deprived some hospitals of the license.

The MOH has ordered domestic hospitals not to perform organ transplant for foreign tourists. Those who want to conduct such operations must acquire official approval from provincial health departments, and provincial health departments must report to the MOH before giving approval to the applications.

Domestic hospitals must also prohibit their doctors from performing organ transplants while traveling overseas as a tourist, it said.

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