Province To Invest Over $1.5 Million To Expand Dialysis: Doer

September 5, 2007
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New Four-station Unit To be Located in Gimli

GIMLI—The province will invest over $1.5 million to expand dialysis treatment for Gimli and the surrounding area, Premier Gary Doer announced here today.

“The province continues to improve the quality of life for rural and northern Manitobans by bringing state-of-the art technology and quality health-care services closer to home,” said Doer.

A new four-station unit will be developed to provide dialysis for eight patients in Gimli and surrounding areas as well as additional support to dialysis patients in Selkirk.Over $1.5 million will be invested in the new unit in conjunction with the Manitoba Renal Program and the Interlake Regional Health Authority. As renal disease is a common complication of diabetes, diabetes prevention and education programming will also be enhanced.

The site for the new unit will be at the Gimli Community Health Centre. A functional plan will be developed and an architect will be hired for the project, scheduled to be completed in late 2008.

Since 1999, the province has continued to invest in more dialysis services closer to home for rural and northern Manitobans such as new units in Norway House (2000), Garden Hill (2004) and Swan River (2006).

“Our government is committed to building capacity within Manitoba to provide all Manitobans with quality health care. The new dialysis unit will ensure patients get the highest standard of care possible when they need it,” said Doer. “The addition of this dialysis unit builds on the comprehensive renovations and additions that have taken place at the Gimli Community Health Centre.”

Today’s announcement builds on past government initiatives for chronic disease including:

· Investing more than $8 million on chronic disease prevention activities to promote non-smoking, physical activity and healthy eating. The Alliance for the Prevention of Chronic Disease gave the province an award of recognition in January 2006 for leadership in chronic disease prevention.

· Supporting the Island Lake Regional Renal Health Program (dialysis and prevention) which has been singled out by the Health Council of Canada as a model for overcoming barriers to prevention, screening and management of kidney disease.

· Investing $1.6 million in risk factor and complication assessment to provide consistent and comprehensive training and resources to diabetes health-care team members (dietitians, nurses and physicians) and regions to assess risk of developing chronic disease or the complications of diabetes.

“This announcement continues to build on our community health centre model by offering expanded services to the residents of Gimli and surrounding communities,” said Kevin Beresford, chief executive officer of the Interlake Regional Health Authority.

Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for patients coping with kidney disease or kidney failure. Patients are required to have ongoing treatments to rinse toxins from their bodies that are normally removed by healthy kidney functions.

“Patients in Gimli and the surrounding area can maintain the quality of life they deserve by being treated close to their home community and their family and social supports,” said Doer. “The new unit will also provide needed relief to the very busy Selkirk and Winnipeg dialysis units.”

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