When the chance came to have a liver transplant on the mainland, Mr Chan was not too concerned about where the organ came from. The 58-year-old cirrhosis sufferer likened the alternative to sitting in Hong Kong waiting to die. 'Although I doubted the quality of mainland hospitals, I still chose to go, because it was my only option,' said Mr Chan, a hepatitis B carrier. In 2003, cirrhosis was found on 80 per cent of his liver after he began to vomit blood. But because his liver function was still adequate, he was low on the transplant list, which ranks patients according to their liver function. 'I kept on vomiting blood from time to time, but none of my family members was suitable to donate part of their livers to me.' Mr Chan said he knew if he continued to wait in Hong Kong for livers from people who had died, he would eventually die himself. 'Therefore, my friends helped me collect information about liver transplants on the mainland,' he said. Within three months of his diagnosis in 2003, it was arranged for Mr Chan to undergo an operation at Sun Yat-sen University's First Affiliated Hospital in Guangzhou, for which he paid about HK$300,000. The operation was successful and he now leads a normal life, although he still has to take anti-rejection drugs and visit doctors regularly. 'As a patient, I wouldn't care about where the organs came from. I was only concerned about the quality of the operation and the survival rate,' he said. 'It's good that the Chinese government has strengthened the regulation of organ transplants, but at the same time, I hope this won't hinder the survival chance of patients. 'If more Hongkongers were willing to donate their organs after death, we might not be so desperate.' The Hong Kong Liver Foundation says only three out of 1 million people each year in Hong Kong donate organs after death. So far this year, 45 liver transplants have been carried out at Queen Mary Hospital, but only 16 used organs from donors who had died.