NDP

Investment Supports Expansion of Satellite Dialysis Unit

November 2, 2012


Nova Scotians living in Colchester and East Hants will soon receive dialysis treatment closer to home.

Seven new dialysis chairs will be added over the next several months to reduce wait times and bring better care sooner to patients and their families who are travelling to Halifax for treatment.

“Three days a week, four or five hours a day, that’s what some Nova Scotians must endure to receive life-saving dialysis treatment,” said Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “That’s why we’re bringing health care closer to home for dialysis patients in Colchester East Hants.”

The extra chairs will accommodate up to 40 patients from Tatamagouche to Truro to Stewiacke.

“This investment will improve the lives of dialysis patients and their families,” said Peter MacKinnon, CEO of the Colchester East Hants Health Centre. “We are pleased that the opening of our new health centre will allow more of our residents to remain here for care.”

Since July, Ellison Murphy has travelled from Truro to Halifax three times a week for hemodialysis treatment.

“For my wife and I, it means peace of mind not having to travel throughout the winter over snowy highways, and reduces the stress that comes with it,” said Mr. Murphy. “This expansion will benefit myself and others by providing treatment a lot closer to home.”

Ms. Zann says she is grateful for the additional funds for the dialysis unit.

“One of the major issues that was brought to my attention was the desperate need here in our region for more chairs for hemodialysis treatment,” said Ms. Zann. “Many patients are elderly, do not have their own means of transportation, or have needed to find lodgings in Halifax to receive their life-saving treatments. I am glad that this government understands their plight.”

Across the province, about 615 Nova Scotians receive dialysis, 510 receive hemodialysis treatment and 105 peritoneal treatment.

The province is investing more than $1 million to add the seven new chairs. Since 2009, the province has previously announced more than $2 million in investments to make life better for Nova Scotians with kidney failure and their families, including:

— $420,000 to plan the expansion of the renal dialysis unit of the Dickson Building at the QEII Health Sciences Centre

— $100,000 for peritoneal dialysis training and support programs in South West Nova Scotia

— $526,000 for home hemodialysis machines for patients in Cape Breton District Health Authority and Capital Health

— $988,000 to hire 12 additional registered nurse fll-time equivalents to provide more complex care at satellite dialysis units.