Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Member for Flinders
The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister Senior Australians and Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Hasluck
1 November 2018
The first of November 2018 marks a new era for First Nations people receiving lifesaving renal dialysis in remote areas, thanks to a further $34.8 million investment from the Morrison Government.
The four-year commitment will fund end-stage kidney disease treatment, helping ensure patients - in particular, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - receive the critical care required, when and where they need it.
The rollout promises to support more dialysis on country and in remote locations, with the service to be provided by registered nurses, Aboriginal health workers or Aboriginal and Torres Islander health practitioners
Organisations providing the service will receive $592 per individual dialysis treatment.
Tragically, First Nations people have substantially higher rates of end-stage kidney disease but are much less likely to receive kidney transplants.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are 7.3 times more likely to experience the burden of chronic kidney disease than other Australians.
Of the almost 2,000 First Australians registered for ongoing kidney replacement therapy as at December 2016, only 13 per cent had received transplants.
By comparison, of the other Australians undergoing treatment for end-stage kidney disease, almost half had received kidney transplants.
The new investment in dialysis services is one of almost 200 new, amended or restructured Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items available from today and is part of our Government’s commitment to universal healthcare.
Earlier this year, our Government provided the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) with $250,000 to lead a comprehensive review into the hurdles, service gaps and practical challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients receiving treatment for renal disease.
The TSANZ is investigating and identifying any barriers faced by First Nations people in need of kidney donations to help ensure equity of access to lifesaving and life-changing transplants.
Our Government is also funding the $25 million expansion of Purple House’s renal clinics in Central Australia. This will take the number of remote dialysis machines from 36 to 54 and increase the remote patient group from around 250 to more than 400.
Production of a national roadmap to reduce renal disease is advancing, as the Council of Australian Governments Health Ministers Council makes improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health a top priority.
Our Government invested an additional $4.8 billion in Medicare in the 2018 19 Budget, building on the Medicare Guarantee Fund we established last year.
Minister Hunt – Lema Samandar 0427 789 061
Minister Wyatt – Nick Way 0419 835 449
Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.