Claims of unused dialysis machines

QUEENSLAND Health has rejected claims that a number of renal dialysis machines are sitting unused at the Maryborough Hospital.

Reports have been circulating since the Chronicle’s Stop the Bleeding campaign revealed numerous Fraser Coast residents were travelling across Queensland to receive treatment because the Fraser Coast Renal Unit at Hervey Bay was full.

Some residents reported that dialysis machines were being kept at the Maryborough Hospital but were not used because of a lack of staffing.

However, Beth Norton, Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District Northern Cluster Manager, said this was not true.

“There are no renal dialysis machines at Maryborough Hospital,” she said.

“The Renal unit for patients on the Fraser Coast is located at the Hervey Bay Hospital.”

Forty-six people are currently being treated for dialysis at Hervey Bay; up from 40 four months ago.

It costs about $60,000 a year to keep a person alive on dialysis.

“The health service recognises that chronic kidney disease is on the rise – not only in our community but every community in Australia,” Ms Norton said.

“To ease the pressure at the Hervey Bay Hospital, there is the capacity to use renal chairs at Gympie Hospital.

“This capacity will be used to help during this time of high demand and will allow the Fraser Coast service to provide dialysis to new patients.

“The health service will provide return transport to Gympie for the renal dialysis patients at no cost to them.”

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