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Transplant investigation

CHINA'S health authority has ordered an investigation into reports concerning illegal organ transplants being given to foreign visitors after overseas media claimed at least 17 people from Japan had been given transplants in China since 2007.

Medical institutions and their staff face severe punishment if they are found to have taken part in illegal transplants, said Huang Jiefu, the vice health minister.

Japan's Kyoto News said on February 6 that at least 17 Japanese had received organ transplants, mostly kidney and liver transplants at an unspecified hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province since 2007.

Patients were aged between 50 and 65, the Japanese news agency said, citing an official with a non-profit organ transplant organization in Japan.

The patients spent an average of 595,000 yuan (US$87,000) each for their operations, the report claimed.


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