Esperance Hospital dialysis facilities now available

Ward complete: Director of nursing Carla Jones, O'Connor MP Rick Wilson and operations manager Peter Tredinnick. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
Ward complete: Director of nursing Carla Jones, O'Connor MP Rick Wilson and operations manager Peter Tredinnick. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

Five years after funding was secured, the renal ward at Esperance Health Campus is complete and ready for patients.

The Federal Government promised $45 million for dialysis services in the seat of O'Connor, including two renal chairs in Esperance, in April 2014.

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Construction on the $3.5 million state and federally funded project started in mid-2018, with the facility accessible to patients earlier this year.

O'Connor MP Rick Wilson said the development had taken longer than he had hoped, but he was glad to see it was now available to patients.

Mr Wilson said the creation of the ward was one of the last pieces in the $45 million package announced back in 2014.

"It's a wonderful facility we have here," he said.

"The $45 million package across regional WA was to ensure access to this treatment for people living in rural areas."

Esperance Health Campus operations manager Peter Tredinnick said the hospital was developed in stages, with the renal ward being part of the 13th and final stage.

"We still had to operate at the same time that the works were going on. The entire campus is now complete," he said.

Mr Tredinnick said ward staffing levels would centre around the level of demand, with the hospital able to facilitate up to 12 patients in the unit.

The renal ward is a self-directed facility for patients whose residencies are not suitable for home dialysis.

Mr Wilson paid tribute to the late Bruce Mihan, who passed away in July. Mr Mihan lobbied governments to fund hospital-run renal services in Esperance after he suffered kidney failure in 2004 and had to spend 18 months in Perth.

"He was very passionate about seeing this facility open and available," Mr Wilson said.

"Unfortunately he passed away before we were able to bring him down here to show him the new facilities. That's a shame, but it is something he fought very hard for and it's partly a legacy of his."

Mr Mihan's daughter Tecia Flynn said she was proud of her dad's efforts.

"There were so many people in Esperance that needed it and there were a lot of people who had to move away from Esperance because there wasn't suitable dialysis for them," Mrs Flynn said.

"He was fighting, not only for himself, but for everyone to be able to live in Esperance and live the life they wanted.

"My dad was very persistent and very passionate about anything he decided he wanted to fight for."

The final stage of the redevelopment also included an upgrade to the nurse calling system and an increased video conferencing capacity.