Hunter New England (HNE) Health has reached an agreement to establish a public dialysis unit at Forster Private Hospital, meaning patients will be able to receive the life-saving treatment closer to home.
Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said HNE Health reached an agreement with the operator of Forster Private Hospital, Pulse Health, and the owner of the facility, Cape Hawke Community Hospital and Health Association to operate six chairs from its new custom-built renal unit.
“All parties have been working towards this outcome, of delivering public dialysis chairs in Forster and it is pleasing to see it come to fruition,” said Mr Bromhead.
“I appreciate how difficult and exhausting it is for patients to spend many hours a week on renal dialysis and I hope that by providing this treatment closer to home, this process will be just that little bit easier.”
Michael DiRienzo, Chief Executive, Hunter New England Health said it’s exciting news.
“It’s wonderful that we have been able to work together to benefit public patients in Forster who require dialysis,” said Mr DiRienzo.
“We have been very clear in our intention to provide public dialysis services in Forster and I am pleased to be able to deliver on this. We are confident the new service will be up and running by the end of the year.
“The satellite dialysis unit will be life-changing for Forster patients, who will no longer need to travel to Taree three times a week for treatment.
“Six Forster-based patients currently receiving dialysis treatment at Manning Hospital are suitable for transfer.
“The space at Forster Private Hospital is currently being fitted out ahead of the delivery of a crucial piece of equipment.
“We are awaiting the delivery of a reverse osmosis machine, which provides pure water for dialysis treatment. This is expected to arrive from Germany in mid-November. It was originally anticipated that the machine would arrive in September, but unfortunately it was delayed.
“The service will begin after we take delivery and commission the machine in December,” said Mr DiRienzo.
Mr Roger Lynch Chairman of the Cape Hawke Community Hospital and Health Association said the Association will provide the purpose-built space rent free for the dialysis service to be run by HNE Health.
“Hunter New England Health, Pulse Health and the Association have worked hard over recent months to reach an arrangement that will ensure local public patients get the services they need close to home,” said Mr Lynch.
“I look forward to opening this impressive new unit before the end of the year.”