Press Release

HIQA Publishes Transplant Report

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health comments on the Report of the Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the failed transportation of Meadhbh McGivern for transplant surgery and the existing inter-agency arrangements in place for people requiring emergency transportation for transplant surgery, undertaken by the Health Information and Quality Authority Report

Health Minister James Reilly today welcomed the publication of the HIQA report on emergency transport for people requiring transplant surgery outside Ireland.

On 4th July, 2011 Dr Reilly requested that HIQA carry out a report into the circumstances under which Meadhbh McGivern was unable to receive a liver transplant as a result of failures related to her air transport to London.

Minister Reilly thanks HIQA for providing this important report in such a timely manner.

The report clearly sets out the need for a single central control system for making aeromedical transport arrangements for transplant patients and their families, for procedures not available in the Irish health service.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Dr Reilly said: “If we are to prevent the sort of devastating outcome that the McGivern family underwent, we need a clear and robust process for the organisation and supply of timely and appropriate transport when donated organs become available.

While recognising the commitment from the HSE, the Air Corps and the Coast Guard in carrying out patient transportation in the past, the missed opportunity represented by the case of Meadhbh McGivern must not be allowed to happen again.

I look forward to the establishment of the National Aeromedical Co-ordination Group. I am confident that it will produce an effective and pragmatic implementation of the report’s recommendations, so that, where Irish patients need life-saving transplants that are not available here, they can be confident that they can take up appropriate offers elsewhere.”

Minister Reilly also confirmed that officials from the Department of Health will be working with the HSE and with officials from the Departments of Transport, Defence and the relevant agencies to help implement the report’s recommendations.