The State Government today unveiled the first of several new state-of-the-art renal dialysis units planned throughout Western Australia.
Eleven patients from Perth's northern metropolitan area will be treated at the $600,000 satellite renal service at the Joondalup Health Campus from September 9.
"The Joondalup renal unit will relieve pressure on the facilities at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Royal Perth and give renal patients in the northern suburbs the opportunity to receive treatment much closer to home," Health Minister Kevin Prince said.
"Six patients from Sir Charles Gairdner and five patients from Royal Perth Hospital who live in the northern suburbs have already been identified to transfer to Joondalup."
Mr Prince, who officially opened the new service today, said the Joondalup facility followed the recent establishment of new units at Fremantle, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton.
"A satellite service is proposed for the Armadale-Kelmscott area, Bunbury and Mandurah," he said.
"The Health Department is currently investigating the feasibility of establishing other satellite services throughout WA including another central metropolitan location, Swan Districts, Albany and the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.
"New services such as these are being implemented as quickly as possible and will undoubtedly lead to fewer dialysis patients having to make the frequent and often difficult journey to the major institutions for lifesaving treatment."
Mr Prince said the Joondalup unit would initially operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only.
Two renal nurses from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital have been orientated at Joondalup to operate the unit.
"The eight new chairs available at Joondalup for dialysis treatment will help meet the current demand and is part of a plan to meet the anticipated future demand for this service in Western Australia," Mr Prince said.
"The aim is to provide the quality of life for patients with renal failure by making accessible the life saving treatment they regularly need."
Mr Prince said a shortage of specialised nurses had delayed the scheduled opening of the unit in August.
However following a recruitment drive in Western Australia, the Eastern States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, four specialised renal nurses would soon start work at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Media contact: Kirsten Stoney 9221 1377