Plans ongoing for important medical service
Heather Brown, the Vice President of Rural Health for the Central Health Board, said on January 22 that the dialysis unit being readied at the Connaigre Peninsula Health Care Clinic in Harbour Breton should be in operation in May of this year.
© Clayton Hunt photo
Work on the installation of equipment for the dialysis unit at the Connaigre Peninsula Health Centre in Harbour Breton is ongoing and the physical unit should be completed within the next few weeks. Heather Brown, an official with Central Health, said that the unit should be in operation by May of 2014. Harvey Hamilton, an employee with Gambro in Ontario was helping to install carbon tanks at the facility on Monday, October 28. These tanks will be used to purify the water needed in dialysis treatments.
Physical work at the facility is near completion with the commissioning of the unit to take place in the next couple of weeks. The commissioning process means that the unit will pass from the contractor’s hands to Central Health’s control.
The four member staff for the dialysis unit, which will include two nurses and two licences practical nurses, will begin their eight-week dialysis service training in early March.
Brown said, “With no unforeseen circumstances in the training process and in delivery of equipment, we are aiming to have the six-chair unit open by late April or early May to start delivering dialysis treatment services to our clients in the Coast of Bays.”
Brown said that the staffing positions for the new unit were filled with the Coast of Bays area following Central Health’s comprehensive review of health providers in the area.
The addition of the dialysis unit at the CPHCC will result in no changes to the number of nurses in the Coast of Bays area.
Brown said that the specialists’ oversight for the satellite dialysis unit at the CPHCC would be through the internal medicine specialists at Grand Falls-Windsor.
“This oversight or medical control will be certainly in consultation on a regular basis with physicians out of Grand Falls-Windsor as well as the Renal Provincial Program out of the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.
“These teams will work together to provide the best overall care for the dialysis patients,” Brown said.
The family physicians at the CPHCC will continue to provide services they furnish now in primary family care.
With regards to the decision to remove the nursing unit at the Hermitage clinic, Brown said, “Upon looking at the roles that nurse in that particular family clinic did on a day to day basis, it was in the best overall interest, and the best use of our resources, to remove that unit from Hermitage to the health centre in Harbour Breton. This unit will be able to support the acute long-term care and dialysis care within the CPHCC.
While Brown said that the unit’s staff will be well prepared to provide a good dialysis service to patients, people need to realize that the unit is a satellite service which can only cater to patients in stable conditions with few, if any, other medical complications.
“We are confident that we will be able to provide a good program to stable clients,” Brown said. “However, if a patient is unstable with other medical factors involved where they would need fast access to a specialist during dialysis then those patients may not be able to avail of the CPHCC’s unit.
Whether a patient can use the unit will be determined by his/her physician in consultation with other medical providers and the patient. If a needed dialysis treatment cannot be offered safely in Harbour Breton, then that patient would still have to travel outside for dialysis.