Dametto fights for dialysis services

HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has taken the fight for dialysis services in Ingham straight to Brisbane, calling on State Health Minister Steven Miles to act.

In a Question Without Notice in parliament on Thursday, Mr Dametto asked Dr Miles whether he would commit to working with the community to bring dialysis services to Ingham Hospital.

The Minister responded that he would be willing to work with the community on the issue, as well as Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS).

“Several local residents have raised the need for dialysis services in Ingham with me and I’m happy to take it on,” Mr Dametto said.

“It’s no secret that life for residents in Ingham requiring life-saving health services like dialysis means doing a 250 kilometre round trip three times a week to Townsville Hospital.

“Local community groups are willing to help joint fund a local service but we need the State Government to pitch in.”

Mr Dametto said he had previously raised the issue of dialysis services for Ingham Hospital in correspondence with THHS last year but was told there were only four patients from the Ingham region who travel to Townsville Hospital for dialysis and only one of those meet the criteria to be treated at a satellite haemodialysis unit, which is what would be required for Ingham Hospital.

“I understand the point THHS is making regarding the low patient numbers that travel to Townsville for dialysis but I ask how many Ingham residents have moved to Townsville in recent years just to be able to access those services more easily. It’s fair to assume there be would be several,” Mr Dametto said.

“We are still awaiting a response from THHS for the actual cost of a satellite dialysis unit for Ingham Hospital and have made the point that the community has established a fundraising group to raise the necessary funds required to assist with purchasing a unit and peripheral equipment. All we ask is that Queensland Health would consider matching local fundraising efforts dollar for dollar.”

Mr Dametto said he would be requesting a meeting with Dr Miles to discuss the need for dialysis services in Ingham.

“With a growing ageing population in the Ingham area, now is the time for Queensland Health to plan ahead and ensure that services which benefit the elderly, such as dialysis, are readily available at Ingham Hospital,” he said.

“I will continue to work with all stakeholders to try and deliver an outcome for local residents.”

Nick Dametto MP