IF SOME assistance were given to Tasmanian renal patients who chose to undergo dialysis at home, it would save millions in the health budget and increase the capacity at overstretched satellite renal centres.
But patients say the State Government provides little to no incentive to do home dialysis, even though a government report says it could save the budget an estimated $16.2million.
Two years ago when renal patient Ken Hinds remodelled the back room at his Latrobe home for a dialysis machine he uses for 4.5 hours a day five days a week, it saved him travelling and improved his health.
Mr Hinds said home dialysis was not for everyone but it would be an option for many more if more help was given.
He said in the State Renal Plan it says in NSW (on 2008 figures) renal patients on home dialysis received $1476 a year from the government to help cover their costs, and in Victoria it was about $1100 a payment, but in Tasmania home dialysis patients receive nothing.
Mr Hinds said on 2008 figures it costs the State Government $65,000 a year for someone to do dialysis in a renal unit against nothing at home.
“If I received $1400 it would pay the power bill – they don’t tell you the costs associated with power for home dialysis,” Mr Hinds said.
He uses 176,000 litres of water a year to run the dialysis machine, of which Cradle Mountain Water provides 50,000 litres. There was also the cost of home modifications for the machine and shelves for dialysis supplies.
Mr Hinds used to do dialysis treatment in the unit in Burnie and in Launceston for five years before two years ago he started home dialysis, for the convenience of it and because he felt “generally better” doing more than three days a week.
Dialysis is his only option after a kidney he received failed.
Mr Hinds, a diabetic of 40 years, received his sister’s kidney and had 10 1/2 years from it.
At 56, he said his vascular system was not good enough to have another transplant and dialysis would keep him alive for the rest of his life.
Greens health spokesman Paul O’Halloran is calling on the Health Minister to increase the capacity for dialysis via methods such as home therapy, as in the State Renal Plan it states treatment modalities for dialysis in Tasmania is very dependent on expensive satellite and in- centre haemodialysis.
“By increasing home-based treatments it would save an estimated $16.2 million and it was likely to improve quality of life for some,” Mr O’Halloran said.
Meantime Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne said she was working to expand the role of home dialysis in the North-West.
Ken Hinds has remodelled a room in his home to accommodate the dialysis machine he uses five days a week. If the government provided monetary incentive for home-based dialysis, it could save the budget an estimated $16.2
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.