In the first half of December, doctors from the Prague Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) and two Israeli hospitals performed the first paired kidney exchange between the two countries.
Israeli hospitals and IKEM signed a memorandum on cooperation in kidney transplantation from living donors in August. Hospitals have introduced pair exchanges of kidneys in cases where a kidney that a family member decides to donate is not suitable for his or her relative, but a suitable recipient is found elsewhere.
In December, three recipients from the Czech Republic and three from Israel received a new organ for renal replacement.
Doctors from Israel transported one kidney to the Czech Republic and immediately flew back with an organ from a Czech donor. IKEM director Michal Stiborek considers the swap occurring within just four months since memorandum signing as a great success.
According to him, the transplantation carried out now improves the possibility for Czech patients to find a suitable kidney donor.
It was the first time a paired exchange has taken place with a non-European country in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has been cooperating with Austria in a similar manner since 2016.
According to Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, the transplantation demonstrates great relations between the Czech Republic and Israel.
Israeli Ambassador to the Czech Republic Daniel Meron said that for the first time, Israeli patients received a kidney from a living donor from a foreign state in a paired exchange. According to him, this is evidence of a high level of medical care both in the Czech Republic and Israel.