Question to the Minister for Health (Dr. Leo Varadkar, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health the steps that have been taken to recruit additional staff for organ transplantation; the way he proposes to address the shortage of transplant consultants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 10, June, 2015.
Additional funding of almost €3m has been provided to the HSE’s Organ Donation & Transplant Office to facilitate the development of improved infrastructure to support organ donation and transplantation. The extra investment includes provision for the appointment of 19 whole-time-equivalent staff dedicated to organ donation and transplantation across the country. The additional staff will work to foster a strong culture of organ donation, optimise conversion rates and ultimately increase the number of transplantations that are carried out each year.
At the end of 2014, two consultant transplant surgeons left the renal and pancreas transplant programme at Beaumont Hospital, one on retirement and the second on leave of absence for professional development purposes. Four consultant transplant surgeons remain in Beaumont. Given the limited number of surgeons who specialise in transplantation, the filling of any vacancies poses a challenge. Every effort is currently being made to fill the two vacancies.