Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Hanover not ready to accept renal help

Published:Monday | November 11, 2019 | 12:14 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

The Rotary Club of Lucea, Hanover, is desirous of gifting the Noel Holmes Hospital with equipment needed to establish a renal unit, but because of the absence of the supporting resources, the project has had to be put on hold.

According to businesswoman Nerris Hawthorne, who heads the club, they are ready to do their part to establish the much-needed facility in the parish, but because of circumstances beyond their control, persons with malfunctioning kidneys will have to continue to look outside of the parish for treatment.

“We have not abandoned the idea, we have just put it on hold for the time being,” said Hawthorne, who noted that her club has had the resources in place for over four years and has been waiting on the readiness of the hospital to put itself in a position to facilitate the equipment they want to offer.

Hawthorne, who was addressing a ceremony in Lucea on Thursday to mark the official launch of a mobile dental coach in the parish, said the dental coach project came about as a result of the Noel Holmes Hospital not being able to facilitate some dialysis equipment to establish a renal unit there.

However, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who was at the function, pleaded for continued patience and perseverance on the matter. He said that having the equipment but not the requisite personnel to make it functional is self-defeating.

“The truth is, it does require a certain level of infrastructure and personnel capacity,” said Tufton.

“We do dialysis in a number of institutions across the country. Dialysis is not just about the machines, dialysis is about the personnel and you have to have people who know what they are doing to do it. It is also about the ongoing medication, the equipment and the supporting medication that is required. Depending on the type of hospital, they have those personnel, some don’t,” continued Tufton.

“Accepting machines have to also be linked into all the elements of the service provision, so I would say if there is a proposal, we can look at it and determine whether or not the other components that are going to be necessary, can be put in place,” added Tufton.

The minister noted that a ­budgetary component would also come into play with regard to establishing such a facility in the parish, adding, “it is not sufficient to say we want to give a machine and cannot give it, we also have to consider all the other stuff”.

Currently, dialysis patients in Hanover have to travel to the Cornwall Regional Hospital or other facilities to get renal treatment.