Hospital buildings arrive next week

Two new demountable buildings will arrive at the Tumut Health Service next Tuesday.

One building will house the controversial new self-care renal dialysis unit and the other will accommodate the existing chronic and complex care service.

Health Service Manager Maria Roche said the self-care renal dialysis unit is for local patients who are clinically suitable to manage their own treatment with the support of a ‘buddy’.

“This will allow suitable patients to remain in their home town, giving them greater flexibility and an improved lifestyle,” she said.

Dialysis patients currently travel to Wagga for renal treatment and one of those with kidney disease, Ted Taylor, has been outspoken in his criticism of the proposed service for Tumut, saying it will be a “white elephant”.

Renal disease sufferers have been lobbying for a full-service treatment centre, saying the Tumut facility can only be used by people who are already able to administer their own treatment at home.

They point to health service confirmation that nurses will not staff the facility, and in the event of something going wrong, patients using the new self-serve dialysis centre will have to call 000 and wait for an ambulance.

MLHD has also recently opened self-care renal dialysis units in West Wyalong and Young.

The chronic and complex care unit will house the transitional nurse practitioner, Skye Gray, and the Connecting Care in the Community Coordinator, Alex Walker, who are both currently located in the Community Health Building.

Ms Roche said both positions are new to Tumut this year and the town has become a hub for chronic disease management.

The Connecting Care program provides coordinated care for people with chronic conditions.

With 72 local people enrolled, Tumut has one of the highest Connecting Care participation rates in MLHD.

The self-care renal dialysis unit was funded by $120,000 from the NSW Government while a $100,000 bequest from the Blakeney Millar Foundation funded the chronic and complex care building.

“We are extremely grateful to the Foundation for this generous donation,” Ms Roche said.

Both buildings, located next to the dental clinic, are expected to be ready for patient use by the end of October.