Manitoba invests $5.2 million to fight kidney failures

By | March 18, 2019

The Manitoba government is spending nearly $5.2 million to provide dialysis services for up to 72 patients, including 30 in Winnipeg. 

The expansion will accommodate six more dialysis spaces in Thompson, where Premier Brian Pallister and Health Minister Cameron Friesen made the announcement on Monday morning.

The province will also serve six more patients experiencing kidney failures in Portage la Prairie, Winkler and Pine Falls. The health facility in Hodgson will support an eight-patient expansion. 

The government will invest in 57 positions, including nearly 30 nurses, to support the investment. Health care aides, pharmacy, social services, technologists, maintenance and administrative support workers are among the positions being hired, the province said.

Expansion in Winnipeg

The funding will also expand home dialysis treatments, including a 10-patient peritoneal dialysis expansion in Winnipeg. The treatment uses the lining of a patient’s abdomen to filter blood inside the body.

“Manitoba’s rates of kidney failure continue to rise,” said Dr. Mauro Verrelli, medical director of the Manitoba Renal Program, in a prepared statement. “This addition of funding allows these local renal health centres to utilize existing infrastructure to meet a growing need for dialysis treatment across Manitoba. When possible, we want Manitobans to receive this vital treatment at home or as close to home as possible.”

The investment expands upon the construction of a 22-station hemodialysis unit at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, which will benefit as many as 132 patients, and an annual $500,000 investment in Brandon to expand home peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis programs, the government said.

The need for dialysis treatment is growing in Manitoba. More people were diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease per capita in 2017 in Manitoba than any other Canadian province excluding Quebec, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.