One man claims he has gone from being first in line for surgery to 22nd Liver transplant patients and their relatives yesterday tearfully accused the Hospital Authority of sacrificing lives with its decision to combine the waiting lists of the two transplant centres and shut down the one at Prince of Wales Hospital. The sister of a patient who recently died claimed the policy had cost the life of her brother. 'He was almost the first one on the list [at Prince of Wales] when suddenly all his files were transferred to Queen Mary Hospital where he had to queue up all over again,' she told Commercial Radio's Teacup in a Storm programme. 'But he could not wait any longer. He died more than a month ago.' Another liver patient, Leung Chi-ming, 39, who was originally first on the Prince of Wales' waiting list, is now said to be ranked 22 on the combined list. Mr Leung was denied the lifesaving operation at Prince of Wales on September 10 last year when the surgery was called off at the last moment, apparently because of a lack of resources. Airing his complaint on the talk show yesterday, he said the authority's chairman, Leong Che-hung, promised him in January that he would be in surgery as soon as a suitable liver was available. But he is still waiting a year on. Responding on air, Dr Leong offered to investigate. But Mr Leung replied: 'I've two young kids and parents in their 70s. Investigate? I think I would have died by then.' Dr Leong prompted confusion when he told the show: 'I have to clarify, that the Prince of Wales [transplant centre] has not been closed.' This was despite the fact that its doctors had not performed a transplant in almost a year. Although the Hospital Authority board has endorsed the decision to close the centre, Dr Leong claimed it had yet to be implemented. He gave no date for a formal closure. Albert Chui Ka-keung, director of Chinese University's liver transplant programme, said he and two other liver experts at the centre had not performed a transplant for almost a year because they had not been given any resources. Yet they still draw a combined annual salary of $6 million. 'It's a waste of public money,' he said. Tommy Lam Kwok-keung, convenor of the Liver Living Association, criticised the authority for confusing patients. He said it had told the group in July that while there would be only one waiting list, both transplant centres would be maintained. 'It's broken its promise,' he said.