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Mathoura renal patient welcomes dialysis proposal

A renal service unit is being investigated for Deniliquin Hospital.

TYLA HARRINGTON January 10, 2014 4:47am

Murrumbidgee Local Health District is investigating a renal service unit for Deniliquin Hospital.

The self-care unit was revealed in the MLHD’s Renal Clinical Services Plan for 2013-17 on Wednesday.

For renal failure sufferers like Mathoura’s Lorraine Dean, the service means they can access vital treatment at home.

Mrs Dean, who has been receiving treatment for renal failure for five years, said it would also improve quality of life.

The closest renal units to Deniliquin are in Echuca and Shepparton.

While Mrs Dean can administer the five hour, nightly treatments at home, she is forced to travel to Melbourne if her mobile dialysis unit does not work.

She said a renal service at Deniliquin may reduce her need to travel, and would also be beneficial to sufferers admitted to Deniliquin Hospital.

Because Deniliquin Hospital does not offer renal treatment yet, it forces Mrs Dean to return home to Mathoura just to administer dialysis herself.

As she does not drive, her husband John must help her with the 65km round trip.

‘‘If the hospital was to have this it would save me a lot,’’ she said.

‘‘It would be great, and a lot easier on my family.

‘‘More and more people are getting renal failure.’’

Mrs Dean said she has been waiting for news of a service at Deniliquin for two years, when the push for a local dialysis unit began.

MLHD director of operations Jill Ludford said it would mean ‘‘clinically suitable’’ people would not have to drive to Echuca or Shepparton for dialysis treatment.

It will also mean dialysis care will be available for those where the home environment is not suitable.

Clinically suitable people will be determined by the patient’s specialist, however, they usually suffer from renal failure without the addition of other health problems.

Ms Ludford said the centre would be a great asset for Deniliquin Hospital.

‘‘There will be a carefully run support system set up for the patients – basically if the patient is otherwise well apart from kidney disease, they will be suitable for the care.

‘‘It’s a five-year strategy and there is a really good need for such a model in Deniliquin and over the years we will be working on how we can establish that.’’

Ms Ludford said there had been several consultations with the Deniliquin community including council and health advisory groups.

‘‘What has come out of the plan is what the community wants,’’ she said.

‘‘There are three parts to the plan – the first is working with local medical professionals and secondly we need to be working on prevention.

‘‘The third is the different models of care.’’

MLHD chief executive Susan Weisser said the number of people at risk of chronic kidney disease is increasing.

‘‘The demand for renal services in MLHD is growing,’’ she said.

‘‘This is being driven by factors ranging from the ageing population, lifestyle choices and behaviour, which increases the prevalence of diabetes and other chronic conditions.’’

The Renal Clinical Services Plan is available on the MLHD website, www.mlhd.health.nsw.gov.au.

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