Dialysis is the clinical purification of blood as the substitute for the normal function of the kidneys, which otherwise would have failed.
At the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, for those who are suffering from renal failure, it costs the hospital approximately $7000 to dialyse a single patient. However, because there are insufficient funds for the hospital, there is no indefinite treatment for patients. This therefore means that some opt to go get treatment at private facilities. This was in a statement given by the head of the GPHC Dialysis Unit, Dr. Kishore Persaud, also a Kidney Transplant Surgeon.
Discussions have commenced, according to Dr. Hanoman, Chairman of the hospital’s Board of Directors, to determine how this challenge could be countered in order to set up and maintain a free dialysis program for patients who cannot afford to pay for it elsewhere.
Whenever a patient is diagnosed with kidney failure, they are offered treatment at the GPHC free of cost but because of the rising costs of dialysis, there is only so much that the institution can do. As there are different stages of kidney failure, there are different treatment. For instance, patients with stage one and two kidney failure could be treated through blood pressure, sugar and diet control to prevent progression. However, stage four and five kidney failure, dialysis is the treatment of choice. It is in these latter stages that the majority of patients seek help at GPHC which then must continue for the rest of the patient’s life.
It was well noted that the hospital sees a vast amount of kidney failure patients and there are currently only three dialysis machines as well as the lack of sufficient staff to expand the service. As such only a very limited amount of patients are afforded the treatment. This will likely change as there are plans afoot to bring a few more machines into operation soon.
After being offered a period of free dialysis treatment at GPHC, patients are required to move on to a different private facility, with assistance from the government who pays for a total of 40 sessions at said facility. After this, persons are required to pay off their own, which is sometimes an issue for those low income families. For those who cannot afford after, terminal illness ensues and death.
With the plans for expanding the dialysis at the country’s central hospital, this could be a thing of the past, especially with avenues for kidney transplant, which Dr. Kishore specializes in.