Limerick East): The Mater Hospital has submitted an outline preliminary proposal for a lung and heart-lung transplantation programme. The cost of the proposal from the Mater Hospital which would include additional cardiac surgery is: capital cost, £2.6 million; revenue cost, £2.4 million per annum.
This would involve the employment of an additional 45 staff. In addition, the Mater Hospital has informed my Department that it considers that it would be uneconomic to initiate a lung and heart-lung transplantation programme on its own without incorporating extra open heart surgery.
The establishment of a successful transplant programme for any speciality is an extremely complex and difficult task. It is essential to have appropriately trained staff, suitable infrastructure and a multi disciplinary approach to ensure successful outcomes. The Department's recent experience with the successful liver transplant programme bears this out.