At leaders questions in the Dail on Tuesday I raised the situation with regard to pancreatic and kidney transplants with the Taoiseach. I pointed out to him that no pancreatic transplant had taken place in Ireland in 2015 following the resignation or retirement of David Hickey in controversial circumstances. The Taoiseach said that a new transplant unit would start work at St Vincent’s hospital in January and that consultants had been appointed. However I appealed to the Taoiseach and Minister Varadkar to meet with David Hickey to see what they could agree on with regard to this vital service for the people who are affected. David Hickey is acknowledged to be one of the top surgeons in the world in this area, and we can ill afford to lose him from our health service. The Taoiseach also confirmed that the number of kidney transplants being performed in this country will be down this year on other years, which is very disappointing. I pointed out to the Taoiseach how much money the state saves when a successful transplant is performed. It is something that needs to be addressed by the Taoiseach and the Minister immediately. It is a matter of life and death for many families.
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