St. Kitts Gets Hemodialysis Machine

The original article can be found in: St Kitts & Nevis Observer By LK Hewlett

St. Kitts’ JNF Hospital will on Friday (Aug 30) open the doors to a new Hemodialysis Unit to treat patients with renal (kidney) failure.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Andrew Skerritt told The Observer that the Unit is being opened after years of planning and coordination with a private entity in Guadeloupe.

A nephrologist and two nurses from the Philippines trained in renal care treatment have been over the past year training a core group of local nurses in this area.

The Unit will house three dialysis machines and another one is expected in the near future. The machines can each dialyze two 4-5 hour shifts per day, meaning six persons can receive dialysis 6 days per week.

Based on the statistics, Skerritt said, hemodialysis was need in the Federation.

“We do have persons who come down with renal diseases and acute kidney failure and would need this type of service,” he said, thus creating the need for the public/private venture.

PS Skerritt informed that not everyone with renal disease would be a candidate for hemodialysis and an Ethics Committee comprised of clinicians, clergy and legal stakeholders would determine the level of priority based on clinical outputs including referrals from internists and nephrologists.

“The Ministry will not be picking and choosing who is dialyzed. That will be done by a 5-member Ethical Committee which includes the Medical Chief of Staff.”

Dialysis treatments at the Unit will cost patients US$300 (EC $813) per course.

Skerritt stressed the importance of creating the link with a private company, saying government could never on its own afford to provide the level of modern health care service required to improve the health of the nation.

He also emphasized the substantial investment the government has made to enhance the medical services it provides for the people.

Next Friday during the Unit’s opening, a dialysis patient will be hooked up to the machines for officials and other invited guests to witness the machines in action.

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