07 July 2005 :according to the Maariv daily China had become the number one destination for Israelis desperate for a life-saving transplant donor as Chinese authorities were selling organs taken from executed prisoners.
According to the newspaper, transplants in China cost 30 percent less then in other countries such as Bulgaria, Colombia, Russia and South Africa, where this macabre trade seemed to flourish. Moreover the transplants in China were carried out in a modern state-run hospital in the southern city of Guangzhou after careful examinations by Chinese doctors.
"China and the Philippines have become the favourite destinations for Israeli patients because the kidneys are taken from prisoners sentenced to death whose organs belong to the state and also because the transplantations are carried out under state supervision," Amos Canaf, president of the Israeli Association of Renal Transplantation Patients, said. "The transplantation is relatively inexpensive, the healthcare is good... A Chinese sentenced to death saved my life," Abraham Sasson, from the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat told Maariv after a recent trip to China. "The Chinese authorities retrieve the organs from people on a death row and sell them officially. There are dozens of Israelis like myself who have undergone transplants and they are all satisfied. I don't feel bad that the kidney I received comes from a person sentenced to death." In Israel there is shortage of transplant organs and patients often have to wait up to three years before receiving an organ. Part of the costs for the surgery is covered by the Israeli health insurance funds.