New Renal-health Dialysis Unit Opened for Interlake Residents

January 21, 2011

Gimli — A new four-station, $4.8-million renal-health dialysis unit in the Gimli Community Health Centre will begin treating patients next week, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.

“This new renal health centre will significantly improve the quality of life for Gimli-area dialysis patients and their families who will no longer have to travel out of the community to receive life-sustaining treatment,” said Selinger. “The facility will also go a long way toward preventing kidney disease in the first place by focusing on education and prevention.”A second-floor addition was constructed on the health centre to accommodate the renal-health unit with minimal impact on other services. The four-station unit was designed to allow for an expansion to six stations should it be required in the future. The design includes space to provide renal-health education, an important measure towards the prevention and early detection of renal disease for the residents of the Interlake region, the premier said.

The first patients will begin receiving treatment on Jan. 24. Eight patients can initially be accommodated.

“Working with our partners at Manitoba Health and the Manitoba Renal Program, we will soon be able to provide renal-health information and dialysis treatment in four locations throughout our health region,” said Kevin Beresford, CEO, Interlake Regional Health Authority. “This reduces the need to travel for treatment and care, often three times per week, which makes a tremendous difference in the health and well-being of our patients.”

End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys are no longer functioning properly and either a transplant or dialysis to remove toxins from the body is required.

“Our goal is to prevent kidney disease altogether,” said Dr. Mauro Verrelli, medical director of the Manitoba Renal Program. “When that is not possible, we work closely with the regional health authorities to provide the best care possible for people undergoing dialysis. Having this treatment close to home reduces the burden of the disease on the patient and their family.”

Gimli is part of a recent $21-million provincial expansion plan for renal health that includes 10 dialysis stations being developed in the Health Sciences Centre and units under construction in Russell, Hodgson and Berens River. Renal-health services have also been expanded recently in Swan River. Manitoba currently has a total of 14 locations, housing 226 dialysis stations, which provide renal-health and dialysis services to more than 900 residents living across the province.

The Manitoba government also continues to focus on reinforcing the importance of good renal-health to prevent disease, Selinger said. Teams of healthy-living professionals working to prevent chronic disease and promote healthy-living services were recently established in all the regional health authorities. The teams provide a range of services including diabetes assessment and treatment.

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