Citizens residing in Nariva/Mayaro and environs no longer have to travel 64 kilometers to Sangre Grande or 43 kilometers to San Fernando to access dialysis care.
The Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) launched dialysis services on 3rd August, 2020 at the Nariva/Mayaro Satellite Dialysis Unit, Narine Ramrattan Building, Naparima/Mayaro Road, Rio Claro. Speaking at the launch, Mr. Avind Moonan, Member of the Board of Directors of the ERHA indicated that that Board took a policy decision to offer a second in-house option for the 130,000 clients in the Eastern region to access hemodialysis care. Over 140 clients currently access dialysis services in the region and approximately 10% of these clients reside in Nariva/Mayaro.
Mr. Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt, Chief Executive Officer, indicated in his brief remarks that the twelve (12) chair Unit will provide hemodialysis as well as home supervised peritoneal dialysis care in a holistic approach that will also focus on lifestyle education and health promotion through nutrition education and other areas.
At this time, the Sangre Grande Hospital performs approximately ninety-five (95) sessions per week for permanent as well as acute cases. This figure increases when patients are referred from the Accident and Emergency Department. For the period May to July 2020 a total of 1,294 sessions were conducted. On average private dialysis care cost between $1,000.00 to $1,500.00 per treatment session and most patients require fifteen (15) sessions per month. Therefore, the average cost per patient is approximately $12,000.00 to $22,000.00 per month.
Medical records indicate that a number of dialysis patients who reside in the Nariva/Mayaro region access services at other Ministry of Health approved facilities. The strategic placement of the Nariva/Mayaro Satellite Dialysis Unit, within the Southern portion of the Authority’s geographic region, will assist in improving equitable access to quality treatment expertly managed by a Consultant Nephrologist and his qualified team. It will also result in savings in transportation cost, fuel bills, time spent on travel and will significantly reduce emotional stress while improving the client’s health.
The unit has a private high dependency room and independent water treatment system to minimize interruption of service, has the capacity to provide hemodialysis care for approximately sixty-six (66) clients per week. The proposed schedule for operation will be Monday to Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If the need arises, there is also a possibility to extend the hours of service.
Ms. Barbara Punch, Member of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, Mr. Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt, Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Regional Health Authority and Mr. Avind Moonan, Member of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Regional Health Authority cut the ribbon to officially open the Nariva/Mayaro Satellite Dialysis Unit.