Organ donation: ‘Post-operative care a daunting task in the long-run’

It has almost been a year since Aaradhya Mule underwent a heart transplant. While it is paramount to speak about the cause of organ donation, it is also necessary to address the problems associated with the cost of an organ transplant and the expenses required for post-operative care

Aaradhya with her father, Yogesh Mule
Aaradhya with her father, Yogesh Mule

As a part of our series on the theme of organ donation, My Medical Mantra speaks with Yogesh Mule, father of Aaradhya Mule about the issues of affordable transplant. My Medical Mantra played a prominent role in spreading awareness about Aaradhya deteriorating health and extensively reported on her journey from needing a heart transplant to finally getting one.

Almost a year on, Yogesh Mule is still struggling with the expensive costs of Aaradhya post-operative care.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Yogesh Mule, stated, “A heart transplant is an expensive procedure, along with it, the cost of the life-long medicines which a patients requires post-surgery is also quite high. In private hospitals, a heart transplant surgery will cost you anywhere between 25 to 30 lakhs. After the transplant, the cost of medicine also runs into thousands of rupees.”

He added, “The state and central government should make organ transplant surgeries and immunosuppressants affordable for the common man. It has been nearly a year since my daughter was operated on; she is doing well since then. But her medicines cost us dearly.”

Organ Donation-Month

Mule went on to say, “For a middle class family, have a heart transplant puts a major strain on the finances of the family. Raising funds on is an uphill battle for any family, even we approached NGO’s and crowdfunded to bear the expenses of her surgery. But doing this is not possible for everybody as they might come from a different background or going through different circumstances. In such situations, people should think with a clear and composed mind.”

He further said, “Although the expenses of the surgery can be partly met with through trust and the Chief Minister Relief Fund, the real problem begins after the operation is over. It is the cost of the post-operative care which is the very hard to meet. A patient will require to take these drugs for the rest of their lives.”

Mule elaborated, “The cost of Aaradhya’s medicine for just one month amounts to Rs 30,000. It is very difficult for our family to bear these expenses. Also, after the organ transplant is done a patient is required to undergo a biopsy, private hospitals charge around Rs 1, 20,000. A few other hospitals charge around 15,000 to 20,000. Different hospitals will charge you under different rates. The state and central government should address this issue and have fixed rates for organ transplants and biopsy in all hospitals.”

He concluded saying, “The price of immunosuppressants for transplant patients should be made affordable too. Organ transplants an post-operative care can be made relatively better only these measures are put into place.”