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Remote dialysis units to be built in NT

Photo: Dialysis to be delivered on country in NT
Territorians with end-stage kidney failure will soon be able to access life-saving treatment closer to home after federal funding was secured for three remote dialysis units.

Western Desert Dialysis will operate three community-controlled, nurse-assisted dialysis units in Docker River, Papunya and Mt Liebig.

Under an agreement with the NT government, the organisation also known as the Purple House will be given full use of a dialysis truck.

"The families of dialysis patients have been advocating for these services for over a decade," Western Desert Dialysis chief executive Sarah Brown said.

Ms Brown called it a welcome recognition from government that there are considerable advantages to helping people to return to country for dialysis.
It means patients can be with family and remain a part of their communities rather than being forced to live in regional centres, she said.

Western Desert Dialysis chair Preston Thomas said the significance of the announcement could be seen in the patients' response.

"The body language of the ladies who were there to witness the signing of this agreement was deeply moving," he said.

"Suddenly, they had hope that soon they would be going home to country."

The dialysis units and nurse accommodation are expected to be completed later this year, NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said.

She said dialysis on country is a major priority for remote communities and their leaders who see this as a critical service to ensure cultural continuity.


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