Press Releases

Monday, May 9, 2011

$5.5 million dialysis expansion at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg officially opened

Unique pilot project increases access to support services in Thompson

Ten new dialysis stations were officially opened today at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg by Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald. The Minister also announced the launch of a unique pilot project aimed to increase access to support services for people living with Chronic Kidney Disease in and around the Thompson area.

“Both the expansion at Health Sciences Centre and the launch of this unique nurse-led clinic is about increasing access,” Minister Oswald said. “The ten new stations will accommodate 60 new patients.  The new clinic will bring a kidney nurse specialist to Thompson and facilitate a TeleHealth link to Health Sciences Centre which will give residents access to a variety of support services, including Kidney specialists, dieticians, pharmacists and social workers among others.”

Currently 322 people receive dialysis at HSC, across the province the total number is 1,270.

“The demand for dialysis continues to increase across the province,” Dr. Mauro Verelli, WRHA Medical Director of the Manitoba Renal Program, said. “That’s why we’re also investing in prevention and management initiatives like the nurse-led TeleHealth clinic.

The pilot project will provide approximately 100 patients with access to a variety of kidney health care providers – including physicians - they otherwise would have to travel to Winnipeg to see. An initial trial involving just three patients resulted in a cost savings of about $6,000.

“This is a better, more effective and more efficient way of providing support to residents of the north who are living with chronic kidney disease, but are not yet on dialysis,” Jan Schneider, Director of Patient Services, HSC Renal Program and MRP Renal Program Outreach Manager, said.

“The new Renal (Kidney) Outreach Clinic will help individuals to learn about ways of preventing ongoing damage to their kidneys and to offer early clinical assessments. This may prevent or delay the need for dialysis,” said Gloria King, Chief Executive Officer of the Burntwood Regional Health Authority.  “We look forward to working with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to ensure that patients in the north receive care that will help to prevent the progression of chronic disease and to improve their health outcomes. This is another success story with TeleHealth!” 

Manitoba has some of the highest rates of chronic kidney disease in Canada with many of these patients living in remote Northern communities. It’s expected that this pilot project will lead to the establishment of more nurse-led renal health clinics in other remote and rural locations.

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