The Government of Rwanda is tabling a bill in the Chamber of Deputies this afternoon to establish legislation for transplant surgery services and teaching programmes for fellowship. Through an explanatory note of this draft law regulating the use of human organs, tissues and cells, the Government stated that it will help patients who go abroad to seek kidney and liver transplants and other transplants services, to get these services in the country. The issue at hand The bill, once enacted into law, could replace the law regulating therapeutic, educational, and scientific utilisation of organs and products of the human body, which was published in the official gazette in 2010 and revised in 2018. This year, during the analysis of this law in preparation for the launch of kidney transplant programme in King Faisal Hospital, the Government indicated that there have been issues related to confidentiality. It said that there was a case where the [organ] donor and the recipient are prohibited to know each other due to the functioning of the health facility. Yet, due to the nature of this treatment (transplant), it is better and practical for donors and receivers to know each other. According to the bill initiators, the required age for donors of organs, tissues and products of the Human Body was [at least] 21 years, while the wish was that the minimum age for donors be 18 years, in line with the general practice globally. There was also a gap in that law on who covers the cost for health services rendered to the donors. Also, it has been necessary to change the whole law to include rules governing the utilisation of the human body and the products of the human body as is the case today, the Government said. “This law will help in achieving the national goal to be a regional hub of medical services,” it observed. Underscoring the need for such a law, the Government said the Ministry of Health will launch the transplant surgery at King Faisal Hospital, and that it was needed before February 2023 for the Hospital to start kidney transplant services. It pointed out that the hospital has already installed some key equipment, started upgrading the site for the dialysis and recovery room. In the last 7 years, Rwanda has sent 67 patients for kidney transplants abroad, where it costs $12,000 (over Rwf12 million) per patient, totaling to $804,000 (Rwf856 million), it estimated. Financial implications The Government hopes that the introduction of Transplant Surgery will reduce the expenditures for patients referred abroad. Again, it said, the adoption of the law will also have a positive impact on the economy with revenues from medical tourism. “We are confident that it will also attract healthcare investors who may also be able to set up other transplant centers,” it remarked.