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Healthcare red tape kills 29yo man who was waiting for a lung transplant

Healthcare red tape kills 29yo man who was waiting for a lung transplant

A 29-year-old young man who needed a lung transplant and had protested with his breathing apparatus next to him in the street this year, has died at a hospital in Bucharest on Monday evening. Although he had managed to raise the money needed for a lung transplant abroad, the procedures were being delayed by the red tape across the Romanian healthcare system.

Călin Fărcaş, who was suffering of pulmonary hypertension and was addicted to the breathing apparatus,  had waited for the transplant for more than two years; he had managed to raise those EUR 200,000 needed for his lung transplant, but precious time has been wasted with the procedure and paper work.

His story became viral in April this year when he protested in Brasov to ask for his right to live.

I refuse to give up fighting to save my life. I will fight until the end. I won’t give up”, he used to say.

Unfortunately, his condition has worsened in the past weeks and he was admitted to „Marius Nasta” Lung Institute in Bucharest, where he passed away on Monday night.

According to the hospital’s spokesperson, the young man did not responded to the treatment anymore. The spokesperson said that Calin had come to the hospital last Thursday for a consultation, but his condition was serious and he was hospitalized directly to the Intensive Care Unit, diagnosed with very severe cardiac failure and he eventually had a heart attack.

Although the young man’s family raised the money needed for the transplant, several transplant centers in Europe had refused him because Romania had no agreement with Eurotransplant.

The Eurotransplant is a network with eight member states, which help one another when it comes to transplants, but Romania is not a fully fledged member, but it has only an agreement that enables the transfer of the patients to other clinics abroad, which is not signed yet.

There is a protocol with Eurotransplant, which has not bee signed, because Romania has not fulfilled its obligations. It was only this year that we started to make the organs for transplants available to the Eurotransplant and two lungs have already reached the network. So, the protocol began to work this year. The Health Ministry had approved Calin’s file but, practically, no clinic had accepted him, he had found no compatible match. I found out from the mass media that he had been accepted by a clinic in India, but it’s difficult to say if he would have made it to India,” Health minister Sorina Pintea said.

However, in order for the protocol with Eurotransplant to fully work, a Government decision is needed and Romania has to pay a fee of EUR 1 million per year. According to the protocol, all sampled organs inside the network are allocated according to compatibility.

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