Left to Right : Derek Miller (Chief Operating Officer – Saskatchewan Health Authority), Honorable Everett Hindley (Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health MLA for Swift Current), Marcia Mirasty (Senior Director of Health and Social Development – Meadow Lake Tribal Council), Honorable Jeremy Harrison (MLA for Meadow Lake), Lawrence Mcintyre (Dene Vice-Chief – Meadow Lake Tribal Council), Dr. Joanne Kappel M.D (Nephrology – Saskatchewan Health Authority).
Patients in need of Dialysis can now get it locally, or a lot closer to home for most northern patients.
Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley and Trade and Export Development Minister and Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison were on hand to officially open a new six-bed satellite hemodialysis unit in Northwest Health Facility (NHF) in Meadow Lake.
Operational since March and staffed by specially trained nurses, the new dialysis unit can accommodate six patients at one time, and runs twice per day, accommodating 12 patients.
“The Saskatchewan Government is committed to ensuring health programs and services, including dialysis, are available to residents throughout the province,” Hindley said. “We recognize the unique needs of the province’s north and are pleased to be able to provide this vital service to residents in their home community.”
Typically, hemodialysis patients receive three, four-hour treatments per week. Eligible patients can now access dialysis services closer to home, eliminating the burden of having to travel to other locations in the province for treatment. A patient’s eligibility will be determined after assessing their risk factors as well as treatment plan to ensure they meet the criteria for safe appropriate care in the satellite unit.
“The new six-bed Satellite Hemodialysis Unit in Meadow Lake allows the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to provide care closer to home, cutting down on travel time for these patients and giving them more time with their families,” Saskatchewan Health Authority Chief Operating Officer Derek Miller said. “Meadow Lake is currently the most northern satellite dialysis clinic with other northern satellite clinics located in Prince Albert, Tisdale and North Battleford. The SHA is currently planning for an additional satellite clinic to be located in La Ronge.”
The Saskatchewan Government has committed $700,000 in ongoing funding for unit operations and improved access to kidney health services for area residents. The government’s initial investment was $2.65 million for construction of the unit, with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and Indigenous Services Canada providing $1.05 million for equipment and furnishings.