The need for patients to travel to Perth or operate renal chairs themselves is set to end after a tender was awarded to Devlyn Construction for self-dialysis facilities at Esperance Health Campus.
Dialysis services for Esperance Health Campus were first promised by the federal government in April 2014 when they pledged $50 million for dialysis services in the Division of O’Connor.
The WA Country Health Service revealed this week that a $3.5 million project was set to begin in June, 2018 and would include the refurbishment of the existing ward to include a self-dialysis facility, an upgrade to the nurse call system as well as other developments.
Country Health Service Goldfields regional director Geraldine Ennis said the services would provide a facility for local patients to be treated in a comfortable and familiar setting.
“The refurbished unit will be located inside the inpatient ward of Esperance Health Campus, with two treatment bays and a separate consultation room with videoconferencing capability,” she said.
“The renal and other works are expected to be completed mid-2019 with minimal disruption to patient care and services.”
Ms Ennis said funding for the project included $915,000 from the federally funded Bringing Renal Dialysis Services Closer to Home project which sought to expand renal service infrastructure.
The remaining funds came from the state government.
O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said he looked forward to seeing the new facility after a hard fight to secure federal funding.
“I fought hard to secure the funding for renal dialysis services in Esperance to mitigate the extra burden of travel and accommodation and lengthy times away from home,” he said.
“[I] am pleased to have helped deliver this valuable service to patients in Esperance, enabling them to avoid the lengthy trip to Perth and receive quality treatment in their own community.”
Esperance local Bruce Mihan has sought dialysis care in Esperance since he suffered kidney failure in 2004 and had to spend 18 months in Perth.
He said he was “really happy” that a tender had been awarded and works were about to start.
“I had to go live in Perth until I had my my transplant because there were no facilities in Esperance,” he said.
Mr Mihan said it was disappointing that it had taken so long to get hospital run renal services in Esperance.