Roebourne renal facility brings care closer to home

  • New purpose-built facility doubling current capacity
  • Bringing care closer to home for most vulnerable patients

More renal patients in Roebourne and surrounding areas can now be treated closer to home thanks to a new community supported home dialysis facility.

Health Minister Roger Cook today officially opened the new four-chair, purpose-built facility, which has been constructed on the grounds of Mawarnkarra Health Service.

Managed by Mawarnkarra Health Service, the Warawarni-Gu Maya Community Supported Home Dialysis facility will make it easier for local people who are suitable for home dialysis and have end stage kidney disease, to undertake their treatment closer to home.

Home dialysis is for people who are capable and confident of supervising their treatment either alone or with a carer – usually a family member. Each of the four dialysis bays have individual television sets to make patients more comfortable and their time spent at treatment more pleasant.

The new centre includes a dedicated consultation room with telehealth facilities – this means specialists can see and speak to their patients in a virtual setting, and patients are spared the cost and stress of travel to a tertiary hospital.

Between 2015 and 2017, telehealth activity has increased 113 per cent in the Pilbara region. So far this year, more than 1,700 outpatient appointments in the region have been conducted using telehealth.

The $1.8 million Warawarni-Gu Maya Community Supported Home Dialysis facility was constructed by the WA Country Health Service as part of the Australian Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund, which is investing $45.7 million to its Bringing Renal Dialysis and Support Services Closer to Home program.

As noted by Health Minister Roger Cook:

“Having renal dialysis is tough and time consuming, and can be exacerbated by time away from family and friends during treatment.

“This new purpose-built, community supported home dialysis unit offers eligible patients, including a large proportion of Aboriginal people, a comfortable local setting to undertake their self-dialysis.

“It is fantastic to see that telehealth, which enables people to stay closer to their communities, is becoming ‘business as usual’ for our health system. It is important that patients can stay close to family and friends as much as possible when receiving health care.”

As noted by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

“It is fitting that the name Warawarni-Gu Maya translates to ‘Healing House’ as being with our loved ones and support networks when we are sick is crucial, and treatment closer to home can have a huge impact on a patient’s wellbeing.

“This new facility will help many vulnerable residents in Roebourne and the surrounding communities, including a large proportion of Aboriginal people, for whom treatment on country is very important.

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