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Renal care

Manitoba invests $5.5 million in dialysis

WINNIPEG – Construction is under way on 10 new dialysis stations at the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and an additional six stations at Seven Oaks General Hospital as part of the province’s $21-million investment to enhance renal health services across the province, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced.

“Our government is keeping its commitment to increase investments both in prevention and in expanded treatment options for patients in need of renal care,” said Oswald. “[The] investment in new stations will ensure that Manitobans who need dialysis are able to access care both now and in the future.”

Construction of the 10 new stations at HSC will cost $5.5 million and is expected to create 165 jobs. It is estimated that for every $1 million invested in renovations, 30 jobs are created and $1.5 million is added to the GDP. The new stations will be built across from the current dialysis unit and will be used by up to 60 dialysis patients weekly. Construction is expected to be complete by fall of 2010.

At Seven Oaks General Hospital, the former emergency room space will be redeveloped to expand dialysis services by six stations, which will serve up to 24 additional patients. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) will provide $45,000 as part of the interim redevelopment, which is expected to be operational this fall.

“The demand for dialysis continues to increase,” said Betty Lou Burke, director of the WRHA’s Manitoba Renal Program. “These expansions will mean dialysis services for 84 additional patients, reflecting the WRHA’s commitment to provide needed services in an accessible and timely manner.”

The announcement builds on provincial investments in new dialysis units in Norway House (2000), Garden Hill (2004) and Swan River (2006). Work continues on the province’s $21 million commitment to expand renal health services in other communities including:

• creating a new four-station unit at Berens River;

• creating a new four-station unit in Gimli;

• creating a new six-station unit in Russell;

• developing a new six-station unit in Hodgson adjacent to the Percy E. Moore Hospital to serve patients from the communities of Peguis, Fisher River, Jackhead and the Rural Municipality of Fisher; and

• expanding to a four-station unit from two stations at Norway House.

The minister also noted the province has made significant recent investments in chronic disease prevention including:

• providing $2.8 million to create teams of healthy-living professionals to address chronic disease prevention and promote healthy-living services;

• creating a new website launched this spring that lets Manitobans take a simple two-minute test to assess their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes;

• providing $130,000 to support the expansion and renovation of the Youville Diabetes Centre in Winnipeg;

• introducing a $3-million screening program to help people with diabetes in northern Manitoba to connect with retinal screening services;

• expanding the Manitoba Colorectal Cancer Screening Program;

• providing $982,000 to enhance breast cancer prevention, screening and diagnostic services;

• implementing the Manitoba in motion strategy;
• launching the Northern Healthy Foods Initiative in 2005 to support the planting of 400 vegetable gardens in communities across the north;
• providing an additional $19.5 million in funding for mental-health and addictions services since December 2005;
• and·partnering with the federal government to implement the national award-winning Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative which supports community-led projects that promote healthy eating, physical activity and smoking reduction.

Posted Aug. 13/09.