The Albanese Government is delivering on a key election commitment to First Nations health with new renal dialysis units in six remote locations, ensuring First Nations people with severe kidney diseases can receive lifesaving treatment closer to their communities.
The new dialysis chairs and associated infrastructure will be installed in:
- South Australia—Coober Pedy and Yalata
- Western Australia— Balgo
- Northern Territory—Atitjere (Harts Range), Borroloola, and Ti-Tree.
Dialysis is essential, lifesaving treatment for patients with end stage kidney disease, which can otherwise only be treated by kidney transplant. First Nations people are almost 4 times as likely to die from chronic kidney disease.
First Nations people in remote areas often travel hundreds of kilometres to access dialysis, making treatment difficult to maintain and resulting in poor health outcomes.
These new units will be funded with $13.13 million from the Australian Government.
They represent the first round of sites selected for up to 30 dialysis units for First Nations patients, which will be provided over the next four years at a cost of $45 million.
Funding for more locations will be released later this year.
Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation, also known as Purple House, will deliver the new sites. Purple House has extensive experience providing renal dialysis in remote First Nations communities and has already undertaken consultation in each location.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP:
“Our Government is providing the infrastructure needed to make lifesaving dialysis available to First Nations people without forcing them to travel far from their homes and people.
“We will continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled and other health services to strengthen the sector and close the gap.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP:
“We are taking steps to make health care more accessible in remote areas and to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“These new dialysis units will mean more First Nations people with severe kidney disease can receive lifesaving treatment without having to travel long distances or relocate away from family and country.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, Senator the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy:
“Dialysis saves lives and it is so important First Nations people living in some of our most remote communities can access this essential treatment close to home.
“When kidney disease progresses to end stage, dialysis is essential—but it comes with a huge mental, economic and emotional toll when patients have to leave family and country.
“The delivery of these dialysis units will be gamechanger in treating kidney disease and make a significant, positive difference to the lives of First Nations people while helping Close the Gap.
“These six new dialysis locations are just the start of the Government’s plan to make dialysis accessible in remote areas where First Nations people desperately need it.”
Quotes attributable to Sarah Brown AM, Chief Executive, Purple House
“For two decades we have seen that being back on country with family delivers powerful outcomes across the board, and that giving people hope is transformational.
“The Purple House model of care is well established, and this is an opportunity to help even more communities.”