Richard Court

Richard Court

-

    New health facility to aid Pilbara patients: Premier

    5/10/2000 10:43 AM
     
    5/10/00


      Pilbara patients with severe kidney failure will no longer have to travel to Perth to receive treatment, following the opening of the region’s first haemodialysis unit today by Premier Richard Court.

      Mr Court said the $1.5 million facility, an initiative of the NorHealth 2020 plan, gave patients the opportunity to receive treatment closer to home.

      It was part of the Government’s State-wide health strategy to deliver medical facilities closer to where people lived around the State.

      Mr Court said that less than four years ago there were just six haemodialysis units in the State, mostly in the central Perth area.

      Now there were 15, including units in outer Perth suburbs such as Midland and Armadale, as well Geraldton, Bunbury, Albany, the Peel region, and Port Hedland. Another unit was planned to open in Broome next year as part of NorHealth 2020.

      “With this facility now open, Pilbara patients are getting haemodialysis treatment closer to their homes, instead of receiving their treatment in Perth,” the Premier said.

      “There are always many benefits for patients being treated locally, not the least of these being the close support of family and friends.”

      Mr Court said NorHealth 2020 identified kidney failure as a key issue in the region, particularly among Aboriginal people.

      “The number of Aboriginal people with end stage renal failure doubles every three and a half years, and on average occurs 20 years earlier in Aboriginal people than in non-Aboriginal people,” he said.

      “While prevention and promotion are also part of the NorHealth 2020 plan, facilities such as these opened today are necessary and I am pleased they can be delivered into the regions.”

      Mr Court said NorHealth 2020 was delivering real health benefits to the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Kimberley regions, including the five full-time salaried doctors at Nickol Bay hospital announced last month, the new doctor for Carnarvon, and the new mental health facility opened in Port Hedland earlier this year.

      “Since the NorHealth 2020 planning process began in 1997, the State Government has committed more than $30 million to health initiatives and a further $11.5 million is planned for more specialist facilities over the next five years,” he said.

      “Our health strategy is about providing quality health care facilities closer to where people live and this haemodialysis unit in Port Hedland is a good example.”

      Media contact: Casey Cahill - 9222 9475