Improved access to kidney care for Kamloops-area residents

Sept. 13 marked completion of the new community dialysis unit for those in the Kamloops area

Health Minister Terry Lake, BC Renal Agency leaders, Interior Health representatives and renal patients on Sept. 13 marked completion of the new community dialysis unit that brings hemodialysis services closer to home for those in the Kamloops area.

“We continue to improve the supports available to patients living with kidney disease,” said Lake. “The new community dialysis unit is already making a tremendous difference to hemodialysis patients in Kamloops and the surrounding region.”

The community dialysis unit, located on the North Shore in Kamloops, allows stable kidney patients access to hemodialysis services outside of Royal Inland Hospital. The unit opened to patients last month and feedback about the new space, equipment and focus on education has been overwhelmingly positive.

“For those with kidney disease who require hemodialysis multiple times a week, managing their illness is a full-time job,” said Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone. “This new unit, with readily available parking and a central location, means improved access for patients.”

Funded by the BC Renal Agency and operated by Interior Health, the community dialysis unit incorporates an involved care and patient self-management model. By focusing on education, the care providers work to empower patients to increase their independence. Patients are encouraged to set their own goals, learn new skills and gain more control over their health.

“The new unit will promote independence in a supportive environment to improve the patient’s quality of life and physical and mental well-being,” said Dr. Adeera Levin, BC Renal Agency executive director.

The new facility includes an eight-station hemodialysis unit with various consultation and exam rooms and education space, as well as a central nursing and reception area. It currently serves approximately 16 patients per week, with the ability to expand capacity as the need arises.

Working with the BC Renal Agency, we continue to develop appropriate and sustainable care options to best meet the needs of current and future renal patients,” said Norman Embree, Interior Health board chair. “This investment is a further testament to our commitment to provide the right care in the right place at the right time.”

The BC Renal Agency plans, co-ordinates and monitors the care of patients with kidney disease throughout the province. The agency collaborates with stakeholders, including Interior Health, to help ensure all patients with kidney disease in British Columbia receive effective, high-quality renal care.

The community dialysis unit originally was announced last summer and is located at 797 Tranquille Rd., in Kamloops.