Lac La Biche to receive permanent dialysis unit

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After years of waiting, residents in the Lac La Biche area who depend on dialysis to stay alive will soon have access to a new permanent dialysis unit at the William J. Cadzow Healthcare Centre.The province announced Wednesday design on a six-station unit will begin this spring. The government has allocated $3 million for the dialysis unit, which is expected to begin accepting patients in early 2018.The permanent unit will increase patient capacity to 12 from 10. Story continues below

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“For those living with kidney disease, dialysis is a critical but time-consuming treatment. An in-facility unit will provide patients in the area with stable dialysis treatment for years to come. We are grateful to the government for this addition,” Dr. Richard Birkill with Alberta Health Services said.“I am pleased to deliver on a plan that Lac La Biche residents have long been waiting for,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said. “By building a permanent dialysis unit at the William J. Cadzow Healthcare Centre, our government is working to meet the health care needs of residents in Lac La Biche and those from
surrounding communities.”Since 2010, Lac La Biche-area residents have received their dialysis treatment on a bus parked outside the hospital. It was initially intended as a permanent solution, but patients said it was a band-aid fix that ran its course.READ MORE: Dialysis patients in Lac La Biche struggle to get life-saving treatmentWildrose MLA Dave Hanson said he is pleased with the move, but added he will monitor the situation closely “to ensure the government delivers on this commitment to the people of my riding.”“I want to commend the patients and health care staff who put up with this situation for far too long,” Hanson said. “Wildrose has been fighting alongside patients, front-line workers and community advocates for a long time to see this day become a reality.”Once the new unit is in operation, the old dialysis bus will be decommissioned.

© Shaw Media, 2016