Organ scam gives medical tourism a bad rap in Canada


TORONTO – With the unearthing of the Gurgaon kidney transplant racket, medical tourism has got a bad name in Canada, where the alleged kingpin of the scam reportedly has business interests, tour operators here said.

The case of Amit Kumar “gives medical tourism a bad rap,” Aruna Thurairajan, owner of a medical tourism firm, said.

Thurairajan told the Toronto Star that she gets a few calls every week from patients from as far away as Algeria needing kidney transplants.

A growing global industry, medical tourism connects patients primarily in North America with health services overseas.

Indian kidneys are in high demand in North America and desperate transplant patients do not really care how a donor organ overseas is procured, she said.

Wait lists of several years in North America drive the huge demand for overseas kidney transplants, she said.