O’Brien Blasts Varadkar Over Transplant Programme

Beaumont HospitalBeaumont Hospital

Local senator, Darragh O’Brien (FF) has demanded an emergency debate with the Health Minister in the Seanad, amid fears that patients in need of pancreas transplants are dying. This follows the suspension of the only pancreas transplant programme in the country.
The programme operating of Beaumont Hospital, was shut down following the retirement of respected surgeon, David Hickey. Mr Hickey has now raised fears that the failure to fill his post will result in the death of patients waiting for transplants.
O’Brien, has called a vote for an emergency debate with the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, having accused the Minister of hiding on the issue.
“There are currently 10 patients waiting for pancreas transplants in Ireland. These people have been denied access to lifesaving surgery for months now,” said O’Brien.
“The HSE’s failure to fill this key consultant post since January has resulted in the suspension of the entire pancreas transplant programme in Ireland. Patients awaiting transplants are now being denied access to transplant co-ordinators. If they have any medical issues whatsoever, they are being forced to present at the chaotic Emergency Department. Post-operative patients who are extremely susceptible to infection are also being forced to go through the Emergency Department for their medical care. This is a completely unacceptable, dangerous and frankly unacceptable situation,” O’Brien said.
“I have raised this issue twice last week, but we still have no answers. Has the Health Minister Leo Varadkar and the HSE just written off these patients? Why is it that no value is being placed on their lives and their medical care? We need answers from the Minister about why it is taking so long to fill this post, why the entire programme has been suspended, and why these patients have effectively been kicked out of the system. I am calling on Minister Varadkar to come before the Seanad now and explain what is going on here,” he concluded.