Australia sets dialysis units for First Nations patients

With new renal dialysis facilities in six distant sites, the Albanese Government ensures that First Nations persons with severe kidney disorders may receive lifesaving treatment closer to their communities and deliver on a crucial electoral commitment to First Nations health.

The new dialysis chairs and auxiliary facilities will be put in place in the following ways:

1. Yalata and Coober Pedy in South Australia

2. Balgo, Western Australia

3. Northern Territory: Borroloola, Ti-Tree, and Atitjere (Harts Range).

Dialysis is a crucial, lifesaving treatment for people with end-stage kidney disease, as kidney transplantation is the only other option. First Nations people have a nearly 4-fold more significant risk of dying from chronic renal disease.

Access to dialysis for First Nations people in remote places frequently requires them to travel hundreds of kilometres, making treatment challenging and negatively impacting their health.

The Australian government will provide $13.13 million for these additional units.
They are the first set of locations chosen to provide up to 30 dialysis units for First Nations patients over the following four years at $45 million.

Later this year, funding will be made available for other locations.

As a leading provider of renal dialysis in isolated First Nations communities, Purple House has already conducted consultations there.

Mark Butler MP, who is Minister for Health and Aged Care, declared: “Our Government is providing the infrastructure needed to ensure First Nations people can access lifesaving dialysis without travelling far from their homes and people. To develop the industry and close the gap, we will continue collaborating with other health services, particularly those run by Aboriginal communities.

The Hon. Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians, stated, “We are taking initiatives to better the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to make health care more accessible in rural regions. More First Nations persons with severe renal illness can obtain lifesaving care thanks to these new dialysis units without relocating or travelling significant distances from their families and homeland.

“Dialysis saves lives, and it’s so important that First Nations people living in some of our most remote communities can access this necessary treatment close to home,” said Senator the Hon. Malarndirri McCarthy, Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health.

Dialysis is necessary when kidney illness reaches the terminal stage, but it has a high psychological, financial, and emotional cost because patients must leave their families and countries.

The delivery of these dialysis units will be a game changer in treating kidney disease and make a significant, positive difference in First Nations people’s lives while aiding in Closing the Gap. “The government’s aim to make dialysis accessible in rural areas where First Nations people are in dire need doesn’t end with these six new dialysis facilities.

“For two decades, we have seen that being back in the country with family delivers powerful outcomes and that giving people hope is transformational,” said Sarah Brown AM, Chief Executive of Purple House. The possibility to assist even more communities with the well-established Purple House model of care is now available.

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