SOME patients who seek weekly treatment at the Western Dialysis Centre in Nadi pull out of the vital treatment because they cannot afford the $250 they have to pay for each treatment.
According to Western Dialysis Centre nurse Nizbat Ali, the centre has about 23 patients who frequently seek weekly treatment.
"Our patients range between 20 and 80 years old. Of the 23, we have had seven patients who have passed away," said Ms Ali.
"One of the main reason is because they stop coming to the centre for dialysis and when a patient stops coming, there is very little chance they will survive if they don't get treatment."
One of the only three qualified nurses in the country to operate a dialysis machine, Ms Ali said patients were pulling out of the treatment because they were unable to pay the $250 the centre charges.
"We actually charge $251.30 to each local patient but we brought the price down to $250.
"As a local rate that price is still good, but we hope that we can bring that price further down to $200 because we want to ensure that everyone can afford it."
Ms Ali said the centre has been relying on revenue generated from the payments from patients and donors.
"We have our private partners like Air Pacific and our major donors ANZ Bank and Musket Cove Island Resort. They have been with us from the start.
"But for us to really provide the best service for our dialysis patients and ensure that none of them pull out of the treatment prematurely, there are a few more things that we need.
"In terms of medical equipment we need a dialyser reprocessing machine, a dialysat stirring machine and three more dialysis machines."
The centre was the brain child of tourism industry great Richard 'Dick' Smith and was established at the Zen Lo Medical Centre. A total of $400,000 was invested in the building of the centre.