More dialysis promised

Health Minister Kim Hames, Liberal candidate for Central Wheatbelt Stephen Strange, York doctor Duncan Steed and Member for the Agricultural Region Jim Chown.
Health Minister Kim Hames, Liberal candidate for Central Wheatbelt Stephen Strange, York doctor Duncan Steed and Member for the Agricultural Region Jim Chown.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the Wheatbelt was the only remaining region in WA without the service.

‘There are more than 30 patients in the area requiring this service that have to travel to Perth for treatment,’ he said.

‘It is projected the number of patients will nearly double by 2021.’

Dr Hames said the State Government intends for most renal patients to be able to receive dialysis treatment either independently at home or at a satellite dialysis service in a non-teaching hospital.

The four-bed Northam renal dialysis service is expected to cater for up to 16 patients and would be scaled up to match growing demand.

The $4.2 million would include $2 million in capital works at Northam Hospital.

About $2 million would fund the service, with the remainder used to provide either community supported home dialysis for four patients, independent home dialysis for up to 10 patients, or a mix of both.

Northam Hospital would undergo a major upgrade, with the Liberals committing to provide more support to palliative care patients under a $3.8 million increase to regional services over the next four years.

Dr Hames said the Rural Palliative Care model, established in 2008, would be increased under a $20 million overall funding increase.

‘Funding for palliative care in regional WA would be increased to $12.8 million over four years,’ he said.

Labor candidate for Central Wheatbelt John Watters said Northam was not actually a regional hospital.

‘It is a local hospital and they need to deal with that issue,’ he said.

‘Rather than improving isolated aspects of healthcare in the Wheatbelt, they need to improve the entire hospital.’