Public dialysis patients living in Great Lakes can now receive life-saving treatment closer to home, with the opening of a new dialysis unit at Forster Private Hospital.
Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said Hunter New England Health is now operating six chairs from the new custom-built renal unit.
“I congratulate HNE Health, Pulse Health, who operates Forster Private Hospital and the owner of the facility, Cape Hawke Community Hospital and Health Association, for working together to open public dialysis chairs in Forster,” Mr Bromhead said.
“Dialysis is a lifeline for people with renal disease but the treatment alone can be exhausting. This new service is life-changing for the patients who were travelling three times per week for treatment and their families.
“By eliminating the burden of travel for those patients in the Forster area, I hope the burden of dialysis treatment will be just that little bit easier.”
Mr Bromhead said that Hunter New England Health is planning to extend the service in 2016, including private renal patients.
“The expansion of services will depend on having more appropriately trained renal nurses available to take on these additional patients.”
Hunter New England Health chief executive Michael DiRienzo said it is an exciting time for renal patients.
“Six Forster-based patients receiving dialysis treatment in Taree may now receive their treatment much closer to home,” Mr DiRienzo said.
The new ground-floor unit at Forster Private Hospital is spacious and easy to access. It has been fitted out with all new equipment, including new chairs and personal televisions.
The new unit also features an isolation room, for use by patients who may be prone to infections.
Cape Hawke Community Hospital and Health Association chairman Roger Lynch said the Association will provide the purpose-built space rent free for the dialysis service, to be run by HNE Health.
“All three groups have worked hard to reach an arrangement that ensures our local public patients get the services they need close to home, I am pleased that we are able to offer this service here,” Mr Lynch said.