Dialysis services debate around Esperance Health Campus redevelopment

Esperance Health Campus is set the receive a community supported home dialysis centre as part of the hospital’s redevelopment.

However, one resident has spoken out and said more services need to be provided.

Bruce Mihan recently had to switch to haemodialysis and is concerned about not being able to operate the machine himself without the help of trained staff.

Mr Mihan is currently in Perth receiving treatment for peritonitis which means he is unable to continue self-treatment with the peritoneal dialysis machine at his home.

“It’s just too hard to learn, plus I’ve got to have my missus learn it as well because it takes two of you to do it,” he said.

Mr Mihan said the Esperance hospital should have haemodialysis beds and trained staff rather than having patients use the equipment themselves.

WA Country Health Service Goldfields acting regional director Peter Tredinnick said the home dialysis centre would be available for clients who do not have permanent, appropriate home situations.

“This includes two renal dialysis chairs which will become operational on completion of the building works in early 2019,” he said.

Mr Tredinnick said there were currently seven patients in Esperance performing home dialysis, which required three months of training in Perth.

“Each patient is individually assessed to ensure they are clinically suitable for home dialysis,” he said.

If considered suitable, the patient also needs to have a fixed address, as there are special plumbing requirements that need to be installed into the resident’s home, and the water supply and quality must meet specific standards.

“These patients are willing and able to perform the treatment in their own home.”

Mr Mihan’s experience started back in 2004 when he suffered from kidney failure and had to stay in Perth for 18 months.

He eventually received a kidney transplant thanks to his sister but 10 years later, to the day, he had to start dialysis treatment again. He has spent the last eight weeks in the city and is unsure when he will return home to Esperance.

“I’ve got no money, I’ve got to rely on the pension. I’m also a professional fisherman and while I’m down here I can’t go fishing so I’m just buggered,” Mr Mihan said.

Mr Mihan said he would contact Minister for Health Roger Cook to see what can be done in Esperance.