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UCI Closed Its Liver Transplant Program

University of California, Irvine Medical Center (UCI) for the past decade faced a lot of scandals which finally led to the closure of its liver transplant program. //

It was not able to provide adequate care to patients. A panel of experts found the program to have marginal staffing and inadequate resources.

It lacked the financial and management resources needed to assure quality and success. It also questioned the UCI's plans for building a new hospital as doubts regarding its services were raised.

The medical school dean Dr. Thomas C. Cesario was questioned and held responsible.

The chief executive of UCI Medical Center, Dr. Ralph Cygan, resigned under pressure.

The panel consisted of five experts, which was appointed by UCI Chancellor Dr. Michael V. Drake. It had people from outside UCI and recommended that it reevaluates every clinical program and close down those that are inadequate or marginal.

Dr. Kenneth Shine, executive vice chancellor of health affairs for the University of Texas system and a panel member said that due to the lack of transparency legitimate complaints of people were not addressed in an appropriate way.

The closure of the liver transplant program was due to the fact that more than 30 patients died on its waiting list in 2004 and 2005. UCI did not have a full-time transplant surgeon, but misled regulators and the public into believing that it did have one.

Apart from this the other services that were found to be lacking included the kidney and bone marrow transplant programs.

Drake said that he is in the process of recruiting a top administrator to oversee both the hospital and the medical center.

He also plans to hire an ombudsman to report problems directly to the chancellor, and bringing in outside consultants to review the hospital's progress over the past four years.


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