Case for establishing dialysis service in Nelson adds a major voice
The campaign for the establishment of a dialysis service for Nelson now has the City of Nelson in its corner.
On Nov. 7 City council agreed to send a letter to the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District Board District (WKBRHD) — with copies to Interior Health Authority and Ministry of Health — explaining the need for dialysis service in Nelson at Kootenay Lake Hospital, and “advocating for the creation of such a service.”
People in the city requested the City send the letter since the only kidney dialysis service for hemodialysis patients in the West Kootenay Boundary region is located in Trail at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
A dialysis machine is an artificial kidney through which a patient’s blood is pumped for purification, then returned to the body. Typically, those needing dialysis service must undergo the procedure three times a week.
Interior Health does not provide a shuttle service from Nelson to Trail for this service and as a result those requiring dialysis that are unable to drive themselves have been left with limited options to travel to Trail.
The Village of Kaslo approved a motion in mid-October to bring forward the case for establishing a dialysis service in Nelson to the next WKBRHD meeting.
The motion — including supporting information — will be sent to Interior Health Authority as well as the KRHD board and RDCK municipalities and rural directors.
“That the Village of Kaslo write to the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District board explaining the need for dialysis service in Nelson, with copies to Interior Health Authority, area municipalities and rural directors,” the motion read.
The mayor of Kaslo, Susan Hewat, is also the director of the KRHD board.
The only kidney dialysis service for hemodialysis patients in the West Kootenay Boundary region is located in Trail at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. The IHA does not provide a shuttle service from Nelson to the hospital, but the Province does provide a subsidy to support patients who qualify, based on income and other requirements.
In September the owner of the Sherwood Shuttle service — that drove patients from Nelson to Trail for dialysis — was killed on the Kootenay Pass after driving a passenger to Cranbrook. That left several Nelsonites scrambling to find rides to Trail three times per week for dialysis.
The IHA has iterated in the past that there are home dialysis options available to patients who are able to have this service as part of their renal treatment plan. Home modalities are paid for by the government and supported by health care providers based out of Trail.
Such options are time-consuming and expensive. As a result, residents of Nelson and the surrounding area are advocating that dialysis service be provided in Nelson at the Kootenay Lake Hospital.
Source: The Nelson Daily, Oct. 17