JIS News

A total of 17 haemodialysis machines, valued at US$386,000, were on June 10 officially commissioned into service at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) by Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer.
The units will boost the capabilities of the Renal Dialysis Unit, which provide medical treatment to persons affected by kidney disease. The equipment acquired, which include two portable machines and a reprocessing system, will replace the 15 units that were previously being used at the hospital.
They were provided through the combined efforts of the Kidney Support Foundation, the National Health Fund (NHF), the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, which has earmarked US$30, 000 per year towards the maintenance of the machines over a three-year period.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Minister Spencer said that the machines will help to improve the health of dialysis patients, who visit the KPH.
He pointed out that the hospital sees 75 kidney patients on a weekly basis, “and this will go a far way in making sure that they get the care they need and that they can enjoy a better quality of life.”
The Health Minister noted that it costs approximately $1 million to dialyze one patient twice per week for one year. “This means that with the abolition of user fees, we are saving our renal patients, who use the Kingston Public Hospital, some $75 million per year,” he informed.
Chairman of Board of SERHA, Lyttleton Shirley, said that the units will contribute significantly to haemodialysis care at the KPH. “We are particularly pleased that two of the machines are portable, which means that they can be taken to our critically ill patients on the wards, avoiding unnecessary movement of these critically ill patients,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHF, Hugh Lawson, informed that the Fund has an enrollment of more than 222,000 cases of hypertension and diabetes. “The NHF is therefore playing a significant role in helping these beneficiaries to access medication including some of the latest preparations in order to improve their (condition),” he said.
Chairman of the Kidney Support Foundation, Glen Christian, informed that the Foundation is pleased to be associated with the worthwhile cause, noting that partnerships are critical to the development of the health sector and commended all the stakeholders in the process.
For his part, CEO of CHASE, W. Billy Heaven, said that since the Fund’s inception in 2003, it has contributed some $900 million to the health sector. He noted that the maintenance of machines is critical to the sector, encouraging others “to join hands to build capacity to treat (diabetes), as well as to focus on prevention and rehabilitation programmes as a contributing factor to the solution.”

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