Expanded dialysis benefits Boundary Trails Health Centre

The announcement includes a six station expansion at Boundary Trails Hospital. They have seven stations currently which serve 28 patients. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)

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A waiting list for patients needing dialysis at Boundary Trails Hospital should be wiped away after the province of Manitoba announced an expansion to dialysis services in the province.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen was part of the announcement in Thompson of an investment of nearly $5.2 million for dialysis services to provide services for up to 72 patients.
The announcement includes a six station expansion at Boundary Trails Hospital. They have seven stations currently which serve 28 patients. The increase will allow the seven patients on the wait list to return to the community.
“We know that in Manitoba there are 1,700 people who receive renal services,” Friesen said. “We also know that in our population, one third of Manitobans are at risk to develop kidney disease at some point in their life. These investments we are making… will increase capacity, but more than that they will allow people to receive services closer to home.
Expansions will also add eight stations in Hodgson, six in Pine Falls, six in Portage, and 30 in Winnipeg. It will also mean 57 new positions including health care aides, pharmacy, social services, technologists, maintenance and administrative support positions.
Friesen said it’s important to invest in the health care system even while they’re in the process of making changes.
“It’s uncoordinated, it’s expensive, and it hasn’t been getting the results Manitobans expect,” he said of the system. “But we’re making good investments along the way to improve outcomes for Manitobans and to put the patients at the centre.”
Friesen said he’s had constituents at his office explaining they must travel to Winnipeg because renal treatment locally was unavailable to them.
“(That’s) tremendously hard on a patient but also tremendously hard on their network,” he said. “It’s expensive, people have to drive them.”
Manitoba leads the nation when it comes to a need for renal services and according to Dr. Mauro Verrelli, medical director of the Manitoba Renal Program, the province’s rates of kidney failure continue to rise.
“This addition of funding allows these local renal health centres to utilize existing infrastructure to meet a growing need for dialysis treatment at home or as close to home as possible,” he said. “When possible, we want Manitobans to receive this vital treatment at home or as close to home as possible.”
Hemodialysis uses a machine to remove blood from the body, clean it, then return it to the body. Peritoneal dialysis cycles a solution into and out of the stomach through a tube to collect and get rid of waste and fluid.
March is Kidney Health Month in Canada. For many people, early detection and treatment of kidney disease can help prevent or delay kidney failure or the need for dialysis.
Learn more at www.kidneyhealth.ca.

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