GUANGZHOU, March 20 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday set up its first alliance of organ procurement organizations (OPO) to better police organ transplants.
Sponsored by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the OPO alliance under the Chinese Hospital Association will help the government devise OPO admittance criteria, issue qualification certificates, provide training, and guide and supervise local OPOs, said its first chairman, Huang Jiefu.
Huang is also China's former vice health minister and for years, he has been pushing forward the nation's human organ donation and procurement system reform.
According to Huang, only 169 hospitals in China are authorized to perform organ transplants, far from enough to meet the nation's rising demands.
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 transplants are performed due to a lack of donors.
The alliance will continue to absorb authorized OPOs, hospitals, medical laboratories, non-profit organizations as well as other medical, technical institutions and health insurers.
China set up a special committee earlier this month to coordinate and guide different systems including donation, sourcing and distribution, clinical transplant services, postoperative registration and transplant supervision.