17 Aug 2006

Tahiti renal specialist highlights Chinese kidney trade

6:10 pm on 17 August 2006

A French Polynesian renal specialist says a local man has returned from China after three weeks there without succeeding to get a kidney transplant.

The doctor, Pascale Testivuide, has told the Tahitipresse news agency that it is not known why the man failed to get the operation.

She raised the matter last year after five French Polynesians got a kidney for between 70,000 and 90,000 US dollars each.

Dr Testivuide says there are ethical questions surrounding the operations in China, adding that the health ministry has advised the patiensts concerned not to publicise their experience.

She says the Chinese clinic has no waiting lists but is a business.

Press reports say a small number of kidneys are donated, with most of them being harvested from prisoners on death row.