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Jan 12, 2021

Letter to the Government of Quebec in response to the suspension of kidney transplants

Lucie Opatrny
Assistant Deputy Minister
Direction générale des affaires universitaires, médicales, infirmières et pharmaceutiques
Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
Édifice Catherine-De Longpré
1075 Chemin Ste-Foy, 9th floor
Quebec City, Quebec  G1S 2M1

Madam Deputy Minister,

The Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada hereby wishes to express its concern about the January 6 announcement regarding the suspension of kidney transplants.

This decision, which is causing considerable anxiety among people suffering from kidney failure, is putting additional pressure on people who are especially vulnerable due to the combined effects of their precarious health and the pandemic.

In addition to impacting our patients directly, this decision affects their loved ones and the entire kidney community. In 2020, the number of kidney donations from deceased donors fell 21.5%. We hope that the current situation will not exacerbate this dismal statistic and cause even more distress in those for whom a transplant represents the only hope of regaining quality of life.

Dialysis, which provides a means to survive the disease, takes a high toll on the body and reduces the success rate of kidney transplants in the medium and long term.

With this letter, we wish to stress the importance of maintaining at least some degree of kidney transplant activity for specific cases, given that this is in everyone’s best interest.

We understand the unprecedented nature of the crisis we are going through. However, we are more concerned than ever about the growing waiting lists for donor kidneys and the psychological and physical health of patients with kidney failure.

Options that would make it possible to perform kidney transplants safely should be considered in consultation with nephrologists, the experts in this field, as evidenced by their letter dated January 7.

We would like to thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter.


Francine Labelle 
Executive Director 

Dr. Michel R. Pâquet
Medical Advisor

Sylvie Charbonneau
National President

c.c.    Jérémie Bouchard, President, The Kidney Foundation, Quebec Branch
Dr Marie-José Clermont, nephrologist, Hôpital Ste-Justine
Dr Isabelle Houde, nephrologist, Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) de Québec
Claude Proulx, organ and tissue donation resource nurse, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont
Dr Rita Suri, nephrologist and Director, Division of Nephrology, MUHC

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