BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A new system for the management and distribution of donated human organs will soon go into operation nationwide, a health official said Wednesday.
Technical means will be used to monitor human intervention in organ distribution, Deng Haihua, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said at a Wednesday press conference.
The system has been in development since 2010, Deng said, adding that the system is ready to go into use nationwide after successful trials.
All patients currently on organ waiting lists will be ranked according to their degree of need, he said.
"The system will be used in line with organ distribution policies and will automatically match organs and recipients in accordance with their degree of medical need, as well as the donor and recipient's compatibility," Deng said.
The commission will also introduce rules concerning the obtainment, distribution and management of organs in order to make the distribution process more transparent, he said.
Deng said the rules will also make the use of the system compulsory.
During the trials, 38 authorized institutions obtained 720 organs from 353 donors through the system, the commission's figures showed.
China has the world's second-largest demand for organ transplants. About 300,000 patients suffer from organ failure each year, but only around 10,000 organ transplants are performed annually due to a lack of donors.
China introduced an organ donation system in 2010, with the non-governmental Red Cross Society serving as an independent third party in supervising and facilitating donation procedures.
As of July 8, 2,495 organs had been donated via the system, Deng said.
At present, human organs are mainly procured via three channels in China: donations from executed prisoners, the relatives of deceased people and regular citizens.
The State Council, or China's cabinet, issued regulations on voluntary organ donation in 2007. But China has struggled to popularize the practice, as traditional Chinese customs call for people to be buried or cremated with their organs intact.
It is no secret that organs taken from executed prisoners are an important source for organ transplants in Chinese hospitals.
But this reliance is expected to end within two years, as the development of the organ donation system will encourage more people to donate, former Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu said last year.