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New dialysis unit for Whakatane

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
1 September 2011

New dialysis unit for Whakatane

Health Minister Tony Ryall today opened a new dialysis unit at Whakatane Hospital giving patients better access to this life sustaining treatment closer to home.

Mr Ryall said, 'This is part of the government's drive to have more health services delivered closer to patients, who will no longer have to travel to Tauranga up to three times a week.

The new six-station satellite renal unit will provide for between 6 and 12 patients per week, but has the ability to grow to meet the needs of up to 24 patients per week.

'We all know that when we're unwell the last thing we want to do is travel. This new unit is a real benefit to the Eastern Bay of Plenty, as it gives people who need to have hospital-based dialysis the option of having it in Whakatane.

The $410,000 unit is largely funded with a surplus from the Project Hope Community Trust, which successfully raised funds for a local cancer treatment centre. Ongoing operating costs will be met by the DHB.

Mr Ryall applauded the community for its effort. 'Demand for dialysis treatment is increasing by 10-percent each year in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, which is double the rate across the country. You've contributed to a much needed facility.'

While in Whakatane, Mr Ryall also opened a new web health kiosk at the public library which links people to information about local health and social services on the internet.

Earlier this year, Mr Ryall opened a new dialysis unit at North Shore Hospital. A new dialysis unit in Wairoa also opened this year.

ENDS

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