Hungary has started operating its own lung transplant programme independently of the Vienna Medical University’s transplant centre, the human resources minister said on Thursday.
Lung transplant surgeries have been performed on Hungarian patients in Hungary since 2015, but those have been carried out in collaboration with the Vienna centre, Miklós Kásler told a press conference.
“It has been the joint ambition of the profession to implement a domestic lung transplant programme,” he said.
Since 1996, lung transplants have been performed at the Vienna University on Hungarian patients by medical teams composed mainly of Hungarian doctors, Kásler said.
The first lung transplant in Hungary was performed in 2015 at the Budapest Semmelweis Medical University’s clinic established at the headquarters of the National Institute of Oncology, the minister said, adding that a total of 92 lung transplant surgeries have been carried out since that year.
A new surgery block will be inaugurated soon at the Oncology Institute, built using 3 billion forints (EUR 8.3m) of state support, Kásler said.
Sándor Mihály, the director for transplants at the Hungary’s National Blood Transfusion Service (OVSZ), noted at the press conference that the domestic lung transplant programme was launched in coordination with Eurotransplant, an international organisation coordinating transplants between eight countries.
This means that Hungarian patients no longer need to be registered on waiting lists in Vienna but may receive a donor lung offered directly to Hungary by Eurotransplant, he said. Currently, 16 Hungarian patients are awaiting lung transplants, he added.