Patients on the waiting list for kidney and pancreas transplants are to hold a meeting in Liberty Hall, Dublin tomorrow (Saturday, 27th June) to discuss the failure of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide essential treatment and procedures since the closure of the transplant programme at Beaumont Hospital in January last. Dr David Hickey, who has helped facilitate the meeting for patients on the waiting list, has said that the closure of the Beaumont programme which he ran until his retirement earlier this year has caused great distress to patients and those who require post-transplant care. “The pilot national pancreas transplant programme was set up in 1992 and achieved world class outcomes in terms of patient and pancreas survival. The unit received international recognition as confirmed by its hosting of the World Congress of Pancreas and Islet Transplantation in 2005,” Dr Hickey said. “The manner in which the programme at Beaumont was closed has caused great distress to patients who are on a waiting list and those who have a functioning pancreas transplant. The lack of information and direction for those with functioning pancreata and the failure to organise treatment overseas for those abandoned on the so called waiting list is appalling.” “Combined kidney and pancreas transplantation was the treatment of choice for diabetic patients with kidney failure. The procedure significantly prolongs and improves quality of life. The callous disregard in this action by Beaumont hospital is unacceptable and the patients are not willing to accept it. They wish to know what arrangements are in place for patients on the transplant waiting list and what post-transplant facilities are in place.” Representatives of the HSE, Beaumont Hospital and the Irish Kidney Association have been invited to attend the meeting which commences at 2.00 p.m. at Liberty Hall, Eden Quay, Dublin tomorrow.