TOURISM industry pioneer Dick Smith has added another feather to his cap.
The owner of Musket Cove Resort on Malololailai in the Mamanuca Group, along with wife Carol and daughter Josephine, helped establish the Western Dialysis Centre at the Zen Lo Medical Centre in Nadi ù the first in the Western Division.
Along with the partnership of Doctor Zen Lo and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, the $400,000 four-berth centre will provide dialysis treatment for patients with renal failure or those who have recently undergone kidney transplants.
Speaking to The Fiji Times at the opening ceremony yesterday, Josephine Smith-Moffat said the idea to open a dialysis centre came about after witnessing the suffering her father went through in having to travel to Suva up to three times a week for treatment. "Going to Suva was a long commute and we saw the need to have a centre in the west because it was very uncomfortable for patients like my father having to travel weekly for treatment," she said.
Mrs Smith-Moffat added that Musket Cove was establishing a trust fund to help subsidise the cost of dialysis treatment for patients who were unable to afford it.
"Currently the cost per treatment is $250 and this is only the cost of consumables. It is unfortunate that some patients cannot afford to have the required schedule, which is three treatments a week. We hope to assist these patients on a case-by-case basis through the trust," she said.
Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma lauded the opening of the Western Dialysis Centre, saying it would not only provide a much-needed service but also boost tourism numbers.