Expanded home dialysis clinic opens in Roebourne

Alicia PereraPilbara News

A $1.8 million, four-chair home dialysis expansion in Roebourne that will give more local kidney disease patients the ability to remain in town while receiving treatment was opened by Mawarnkarra Health Service staff and WA Health Minister Roger Cook at a community event last Wednesday.

The Warawarni-Gu Maya Community Supported Home Dialysis facility is an expansion of a pre-existing two-chair clinic onsite at Mawarnkarra that has been supported by Federal Government funding and takes the service to a total of six chairs, boosting local treatment options for dialysis patients.

Mawarnkarra deputy chairwoman Jolleen Hicks said there was a high level of need for dialysis within the Roebourne community and this would allow more people to receive it while remaining on country and close to family and friends.

“Just about every family in the community has been affected by someone passing away from kidney failure ... and a lot of people in the later stages of their lives don’t spend it at home or with family because they have traditionally had to relocate,” she said.

“This (facility) allows people to know that they will spend that time at home and with their families, and possibly longer than what they would have if they were travelling away.”

About 500 people in and around Roebourne have Type 2 diabetes and about 60 are close to the point of needing renal dialysis, but until Mawarnkarra opened its original two-chair centre residents could only access dialysis in Hedland or Perth.

The expanded Roebourne facility will be able to accommodate six to 12 patients, depending on their rotation, and users will also have access to a consultation room with telehealth facilities where they can speak to a specialist. In future Mawarnkarra plans to hire permanent medical staff to assist patients at the facility.

Health Minister Roger Cook said he was glad the facility could address a “growing need” for renal dialysis to be offered within the community.

“What this (facility opening) means is that people can come back into the community or stay in the community in which they live, surrounded by family they love, so that they can get the care they need right here in Roebourne,” he said.

“This is a much better outcome for everyone.”

The clinic was funded by the Federal Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund through its Bringing Renal Dialysis and Support Services Closer to Home program, built by the WA Country Health Service and will be run by Mawarnkarra.

It will begin operation in a fortnight’s time.

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