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Access to treatment

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, August 21, 2014

OF the 46 patients diagnosed to have contracted end-stage kidney problems outside Viti Levu, only one survived in 2012.

This was revealed by Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma at the opening of the dialysis centre at the Labasa Hospital on Monday.

Dr Sharma said most of these patients died because they could not afford to travel to Viti Levu for treatments.

He said people who could not access treatment could not be identified by the ministry for medical treatment in India.

"End-stage kidney problem has been a huge burden that the ministry has had to deal with," he said.

"However, when accessing the problem of kidney problem arising from diabetes, we have identified two main components that need to be considered in addressing the disease and these include access of patients to dialysis and implementation of laws dealing with organ transplants.

"In 2007, the Kidney Foundation of Fiji started providing treatment but it was really expensive and it was quiet a tedious task trying to negotiate prices, now that we have access to dialysis machines in local hospitals we are working on reducing treatment costs to $100."

Dr Sharma said another component of treatment was the law dealing with organ transplant, which he added had been established.