THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
Member for Lingiari
7 August 2010
Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, today attended the Garma Festival near Gove in the Northern Territory, and launched a new travelling bus to treat renal patients at events in remote areas.
Garma was the first stop for the mobile dialysis unit, named ‘Dialysis on the move’ which is jointly funded by the Federal and Northern Territory Labor Governments.
“We know there is a high incidence of chronic kidney disease in NT remote communities, and getting access to dialysis isn’t always easy,” Warren Snowdon said.
“This new mobile dialysis unit will give dialysis patients more support and greater freedom. At a minimum, the bus will visit at least eight remote communities per year, and also attend festivals, ceremonies, sports days, and large funerals where possible.”
The Isuzu truck has been specially constructed with two dialysis chairs and will be staffed by trained dialysis nurses from the Northern Territory Government to treat up to four dialysis patients per day.
“The renal bus is on-site at the Garma Festival from 6-10 August 2010 to provide short term respite dialysis for clients participating in the cultural festival. I’m sure it will be welcome here and in many communities across the Territory”
A project officer will commence shortly to facilitate remote visits.
The renal bus will also be used to increase awareness and education to community members, including Aboriginal and Torres Islander Health Workers around kidney health.
The Gillard Labor Government provided $381,000 to the Northern Territory Government for the construction of a mobile dialysis unit (or renal bus) pilot project.
The renal bus will be permanently located in Central Australia.
The renal bus is part of a broad investment in renal care by the Gillard Labor Government.
Funding for the relocatable facilities is part of the Gillard Labor Government’s $5.3 million over 5 years for improved renal dialysis services in the Northern Territory, from the 2008-2009 Budget.
This announcement was funded from an existing allocation in the budget.
MEDIA CONTACT: ALICE PLATE (0400 045 999)