Two New Dialysis Units Open

Health And Wellness

**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release

Two New Dialysis Units Open

The Rankin government announced two new dialysis units are now open to serve patients in Digby, Kings and Annapolis counties, reducing travel time and relieving pressure at other dialysis centres.

Nova Scotia Health’s Renal Program opened a 12-station unit at the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville today, March 29. It follows the opening of a six-station unit at the Digby General Hospital on March 15.

“Providing closer access to dialysis is a top priority for this government. We know that many Nova Scotians have to drive several hours multiple days a week to receive this vital treatment,” said Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill. “Over the last few years, we have been working hard to build and expand dialysis units across the province to help lessen the stress on those clients and improve the quality of care that Nova Scotians deserve.”

Previously, many dialysis patients in the Annapolis Valley would need to travel to the Western Kings Memorial Health Centre in Berwick for treatment. Others may have had to travel to Halifax if they had more complex health issues. The new 12-station unit in Kentville replaces the six-station unit in Berwick and will serve twice as many patients. Government invested $10 million in the unit’s construction and has hired additional staff to support the new clinic.

The new unit in Digby means most patients between Bridgetown and Meteghan who previously had to travel to Yarmouth for dialysis will be able to receive it at the Digby General Hospital. Government invested $6 million in the unit’s construction and has hired additional staff to support the new clinic.

Construction on both units began in 2018.

“Hemodialysis treatments are usually four hours, three times a week, not including travel time. Therefore, having hemodialysis facilities with reasonable travel distances has been a priority of the Nova Scotia Health Renal Program and the government. The expansion and relocation of the hemodialysis unit to the Valley Regional Hospital has been a priority for a number of years. It is a wonderful day to see this unit opening to provide care to Nova Scotians in this part of the province.”
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Dr. Steven Soroka, senior medical director, Nova Scotia Health’s Renal Program and Pharmacy Services

“We are really excited about the opening of our satellite unit in Digby. Dialysis is a life-saving but time-consuming therapy at the best of times, and we have many patients who have travel times of more than an hour each way to and from our Yarmouth facility. To be able to give back up to 6 hours per week to our patients is a huge benefit for their quality of life.”
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ – Dr. Brian Moses, Nova Scotia Health’s internist responsible for Yarmouth and Digby

Quick facts:
— dialysis is a process where patients without fully functioning kidneys use specialized equipment or processes to remove waste, salt and extra water from their blood
— government announced a new dialysis unit at Dartmouth General Hospital on Feb. 1, and is currently building a new dialysis unit in Bridgewater and expanding a dialysis unit in Halifax
— once the Bridgewater and Halifax units are completed, the province will have increased dialysis seats by more than 30 per cent since 2015, providing treatment closer to home for many Nova Scotians
— government is making the most significant infrastructure investment in Nova Scotia’s history to modernize health-care facilities across the province

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