The health ministry is considering a measure to cover part of the expenses shouldered by patients who go abroad for urgent organ transplants, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is looking to begin offering the insurance payment as early as fiscal 2018 starting in April to cover some of the costs that are now fully borne by patients.

The ministry is likely to provide around ¥10 million ($88,100) per patient, an amount similar to that given to cover the fees for surgery and other hospital charges when a transplant is conducted in Japan, the sources said.