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Letter: Solution is provide dialysis treatments at KLH

Letters to the editor
By Letters to the editor
July 24th, 2023

To The Editor:

I now make three trips a week to the Trail for kidney dialysis treatments, which is stressful and financially draining.

Home dialysis, which Interior Health (IH) promotes as a remedy, is not helpful because I live alone and cannot store large cartons of saline solution, nor lift the cartons or bags of solution, and I can’t insert a needle into my vein.

At least six renal patients travel from Nelson to Trail for dialysis. In addition, there is a person who moved to Trail, and another who opted for home dialysis. Eight Nelson renal patients in total, if one hadn’t been forced to move.

Also, there may be renal patients in Kaslo and Nakusp who go to Trail for treatment, but these stats are not made available.

Sherwood Shuttle charges $50 for each round-trip trip I make to Trail. The driver says he is not making any money. Michael would like an agency, like IH, to subsidize his costs. The West Kootenay Volunteer Drivers Service says $50 per round trip is not sustainable.

The cost to hire cabs and undertake the public bus trip would be greater than what I’m paying Sherwood Shuttle and far more difficult because I use a walker.

Imagine what the round trip to Trail by public transit and Handy-Dart would be like in the winter.

IH’s argument that dialysis patients need “access to a nephrologist” is indefensible since neither the Creston Valley nor Grand Forks hospitals have nephrologists on staff. Nurses at these hospitals call the nephrologist in Trail whenever concerns arise.

The amount of carbon spewed by trucks delivering cartons of saline solutions to homes and by the shuttle service is environmentally irresponsible. All this could be solved by providing dialysis treatments at the Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson.

Millie Harper, Nelson, BC

Categories: LettersOp/Ed

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