When it comes on stream, a new renal dialysis unit will fill a need for those who presently have to travel to Edmonton and Saskatoon to get the life saving treatment performed on their kidneys.
The Renal Dialysis Unit at the Lloydminster Hospital has a current capacity of five stations. The present five chairs at the Hospital provide kidney dialysis to 20 patients: six from Alberta and 14 from Saskatchewan. The hospital dialysis unit is at it’s maximum capacity and has eight patients on the wait-list for treatment.
A $4.25 million injection from the Alberta government’s Rural Health Facilities Revitalization Program, will see the Border City offering renal dialysis services to a possible 24 patients from both provinces with kidney disease.
Garth Rowswell, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright is saluting the collective teamwork of the Hospital community along with Municipal input from the City that supported the lobbying at the provincial level.
“So it’s a really, really good news situation for Lloydminster and region relative to renal dialysis. There’s room in there to actually add more. So this will add another one. It will go from 5 to 6 and there’s room for 3 more. So it could really become quite a centre for this.”
The new facility will be located at the Medical Plaza downtown. This will free up space at the Hospital which can be repurposed for other priorities.
Malcolm Radke, CEO of the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation acknowledges that the Hospital community has been working at this move for over 10 years. He spoke to the challenge which patients and their families face to keep their kidneys functioning.
“You go into the Hospital every other day. You’re there three times a week basically. It’s all fine and dandy, as long as there is room for you at the local hospital. If there is not, then all of a sudden you’re talking about driving to Edmonton, Saskatoon or St. Paul three times a week. It’s hell on Earth for families. It just totally turns your every day life upside down.”
Surrounding communities where several patients also travel from to come to Lloydminster stand to benefit when the new dialysis centre comes on stream.
While a dialysis machine costs about 40 thousand dollars, the bigger costs will be the upgrades required downtown to accommodate the patients and the entire facility for support staff.