Continued Growth After International Attention in 2006
After the harvesting of organs from non-consenting prisoners received international attention in 2006, the Ministry of Health implemented a new approval system for transplant hospitals. Among the 1,000 that applied, 169 eventually received permits to continue performing transplants.
Our research found that, while some smaller, unapproved institutions either reduced or stopped transplant operations, others that could still obtain organs continued to operate. Large, approved institutions achieved even greater growth with decreased competition. Thus, the industry as a whole has continued to grow steadily since 2006.
Hospitals have added transplant beds, opened new wards, and moved into new buildings.1
Huang Jiefu, a top transplant official, has announced plans to increase the number of qualified transplant hospitals from 169 to 300 and even 500 within a few years.2 3 4 5
“Our country’s liver transplantation business has entered a period of stable development. The liver transplant business at First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University is flourishing. It moved into a new building in 2007. Liver transplantation has become more systematic, professional, and large-scale.”
—Website of the Liver Transplant Center of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University
Actual Volume Order of Magnitude Greater Than Official Figure
The investigators found that China performs the most transplants of any nation in the world.6 7 Since 2000, the U.S. has performed an average of approximate 6,000 liver transplants a year.8 In China, this figure is matched by just a few hospitals. Tianjin Oriental Organ Transplant Center, for instance, has more than 500 dedicated transplant beds.
Based on government-imposed minimum capacity requirements for transplant centers and other data, the 169 Ministry-approved transplant hospitals could have conducted 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year. Thus, these 169 approved hospitals had the capacity to perform more than one million total transplants since 2000.9
China’s official figure of 10,000 transplants per year10 is surpassed by just a few hospitals. However, even this is far from the full picture. More than 1,000 hospitals applied for permits in 2007 to continue performing transplants.11 12 This suggests they also met the Ministry’s minimum capacity requirements for transplant centers it certifies. Many of them continued to perform transplants despite not having received approval.13
"Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update page 304~314 Authors: David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann, and David Matas, June 22, 2016"
"Organ source transformed, however the number of transplant rises up instead of falling downing Source: Beijing Youth Daily October 15th, 2015"
黄洁夫：器官来源转型 移植数不降反升 《北京青年报》 2015年10月15日
"“China to have more organ transplantation hospitals.” China Daily. Source: Xinhua. May 15, 2016."
"“Huang Jiefu: Five organ donation systems are transparent, people can share resources.” Source: Phoenix TV March 25, 2017."
"Which hurdles organ donation in China needs to overcome People Daily Jan 2, 2017."
中国器官捐献尚需跨越哪些坎 人民日报 2017年01月02日
"Founder of Liver Surgery Wu Mengchao Shares Liver Disease Prevention and Secret to Long Life Source: Sina Health May 11, 2011 Reporter: Song Ruliang, etc."
"Beyond the Dark Veil of China’s Organ Trade Source:Phoenix Weekly Dated:September 24, 2013 The original page has been removed from:"
"Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network National Data, as of January 10, 2017"
"Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update page 372~374 Authors: David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann, and David Matas, June 22, 2016"
"WHO Officials Claim Organ Transplants in China Becoming Transparent China News Service, Aug 20, 2015 www.hb.chinanews.com/news/2015/0820/222847.html"
《中新网》 世卫官员称中国器官移植变得阳光透明 Aug 20, 2015 - 中新社
"Climbing the peak of transplantation, continue the wonderfulness of life"
"Wuhan University Research Institute of Hepatobiliary Diseases: A Race against Time www.people.com.cn – Hubei Channel May 21, 2015 Zhang Pei"
"Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update page 374~375 Authors: David Kilgour, Ethan Gutmann, and David Matas, June 22, 2016"