New Katoomba dialysis unit will make treatments more accessible for Lithgow patients

NEW SERVICE: Katoomba's hospital will be getting a dialysis unit. While it will still be a trek for Lithgow patients to access the new service, it is a lot closer than Nepean. FILE IMAGE.
NEW SERVICE: Katoomba's hospital will be getting a dialysis unit. While it will still be a trek for Lithgow patients to access the new service, it is a lot closer than Nepean. FILE IMAGE.

Kidney dialysis patients from Lithgow will have their travel time cut significantly, with the promise of a renal unit for Katoomba. 

Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health Leslie Williams announced a new $4.7 million renal unit this week to be based at the Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital.

“This state-of-the-art unit will give patients a better quality of life – living with kidney disease is hard enough without having to travel long distances several times a week for life-saving treatment,” Mr Hazzard said.  

Mrs Williams said the NSW Government was consulting with key hospital and community representatives on the most suitable design and layout for the unit, which would include six new dialysis chairs.

“We will be talking to people who need to use the dialysis unit, and people who will be staffing it, to ensure the new unit meets the needs of the community now and well into the future,” Mrs Williams said.

The Katoomba Community Dialysis Centre will operate as a satellite service for the Nepean Hospital, which is part of the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.

The six chairs will accommodate up to 24 people from Lithgow and the Blue Mountains. It will be a significant reduction in travel time for some Lithgow dialysis patients, who travel up to three times a week for treatment to Nepean hospital. 

Planning for the six-chair satellite renal dialysis service in Katoomba will continue throughout 2017 with construction scheduled for 2018.