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Battlefords Dialysis Expansion Brings Care Closer to Home

Released on January 24, 2017

Chemotherapy Unit also relocates to larger space

Today Battlefords MLA Herb Cox joined representatives of the Prairie North Health Region, patients, and their families on behalf of Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit to celebrate the opening of an expanded Dialysis Unit and renovated Chemotherapy Unit at Battlefords Union Hospital (BUH).

“We’re glad that more area residents can receive this life-sustaining service as close to home as possible,” MLA Cox said.  “Patients needing chemotherapy now receive treatment in a space that provides more privacy and comfort. These programs put patients first by helping them receive the best care possible, as close to their home community as possible.”

As a result of $600,000 in one-time funding provided by the Ministry of Health for the expansion, 50 per cent more dialysis patients will now be served as a result.  Increased annual funding of $430,000 is also being provided to cover the corresponding increase in operating costs.

“Our patients, staff, management, and board are grateful to the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Chronic Kidney Disease Program for acknowledging the need for expanded renal dialysis service at Battlefords Union Hospital,” Prairie North Regional Health Authority Board Chairperson Bonnie O’Grady said. “We are proud to be able to improve both the service and the care environment for patients and staff of our dialysis and chemotherapy programs.”

The Chronic Kidney Disease Program is administered by St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon and BUH is a satellite location.  The program provides medical direction and support for patients with chronic kidney disease in central and northern Saskatchewan.  The Dialysis Unit at BUH now serves 36 patients, meaning that 12 more patients will receive care in North Battleford rather than travel to Saskatoon.  The unit is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

“The bigger dialysis unit makes getting treatment much easier for patients,” North Battleford resident Clara Quirk said. “I was able to start treatment here even before the expansion, and for me it means much less travelling. Going back and forth to Saskatoon three times a week used to play me out. I have access to the care I need in a single location now. The new unit is bright and cheerful with lots of natural light. It’s well designed and the staff is great!”

As part of the expansion, the Dialysis Unit was moved. The space it previously occupied was renovated for the Chemotherapy Unit, which now has more natural light and more room for patients, their families, and friends.  The result is a more comfortable treatment area for patients. The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency provided $60,000 toward the cost of renovations.

Chemotherapy services are provided through cancer centres in Saskatoon and Regina, as well as BUH and 15 other hospitals through the Cancer Agency’s Community Oncology Program. More than 200 cancer patients received service in North Battleford in 2015-16.

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For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Health
Regina 
Phone: 306-787-4083
Email: tmcmurchy@health.gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-537-3594

Linda Lewis
Communications Consultant
Prairie North Health Region
Phone: 306-446-6625
Email: linda.lewis@pnrha.ca

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