Pretoria - People with kidney ailments living in Bojanala in the North West will no longer have to travel outside the district or province to get dialysis treatment, thanks to a new renal unit.
Health MEC Dr Magome Masike will officially open a renal unit at Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital in the Bojanala District to deliver renal services.
The new state of the art unit, to be opened on Monday, is anticipated to respond to the dire need for dialysis treatment in the district and ease the burden on the Klerkdorp/Tshepong complex, which is currently the only state renal unit providing such service in that province.
North West Health Department spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane, said the renal unit would enable people of the greater Rustenburg area and Bojanala District to have highly specialised service at an economically acceptable standard, while helping them to have improved quality of life.
"They shall no longer have to travel far. The unit has been constructed such that it can accommodate 32 patients on chronic haemodialysis and possibly expand to 40 patients should the need arise. With the unfolding partnership with MEDUNSA, this is also a great opportunity for the training of nurses in this speciality too," Lekgethwane said.
He added that establishing renal care services, including dialysis, in Rustenburg had been a priority for a few years. In March 2009, the Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital began to re-evaluate the quality of service received by renal patients as they had to go to other hospitals to receive care.
"... To receive meaningful dialysis, each patient had to make the journey from Rustenburg to Pretoria or Johannesburg in Gauteng, Mafikeng or Klerksdorp three times a week, to sit on the dialysis machine for minimum four hours and make the journey back home.
"Because of this rigorous process and the travelling costs involved, many would default certain days of treatment, thus not receive meaningful therapy but simultaneously costing the state tremendous amounts of money," Lekgethwane explained.
He said an agreement was reached with a private service provider to provide for the dialysis of patients and this was undertaken with the intention to establish in-house dialysis by 2010.
"A process unfolded and the unit is completed and it's ready for opening."