In a significant step for the region, a dedicated renal service will be available for the first time for patients in Coober Pedy and surrounding communities.
A $200,000 grant from the Marshall Liberal Government will help Purple House establish the landmark purpose-built treatment facility in Coober Pedy.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the new community-based renal service will have four dialysis chairs and deliver care closer to home for patients, providing for a safe and comfortable environment during what can be a challenging time.
“Remote indigenous people in Central Australia are up to 30 times more likely to suffer from kidney disease than the rest of the population and there is a high demand for renal dialysis treatment in Coober Pedy and surrounding communities,” Minister Wade said.
“At any given time, there are about 15 people needing to travel more than 500 kilometres to Port Augusta or more than 800 kilometres to Adelaide for dialysis.
“This grant will help ensure renal dialysis patients throughout the State’s Far North can receive the treatment they need closer to home.
“We are proud to be supporting Purple House, which continues our commitment to invest in services to help improve the health and wellbeing of South Australians.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to fighting kidney disease and closing the gap in renal outcomes between the city and country.”
Purple House Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Brown, said the grant will help meet the growing need for dialysis services in Coober Pedy and surrounds.
“This project is a great demonstration of the community spirit of this iconic town and we thank the South Australian Government for providing their support,” Ms Brown said.
“Dialysis patients are required to attend a unit for treatment three times a week, every week, and having a local dialysis service will allow patients to receive their treatment in their community, rather than having to relocate to another city such as Port Augusta or Adelaide for ongoing treatment.
“This is an exciting time for the many people who will benefit from having access to this much needed service locally, their families and the whole community.”
Eyre and Far North Local Health Network Chief Executive Officer, Verity Paterson, said the new unit will play a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of patients needing dialysis treatment.
“Purple House is a well-recognised and well-established non-profit organisation providing renal dialysis treatment and services to patients from remote communities in Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia,” Ms Paterson said.
“The construction of a new Purple House facility in Coober Pedy will make a significant difference to the local community by providing specialist support for patients in a culturally appropriate environment.”
Construction on the new facility is expected to start in the first half of next year, with opening expected in around 12 months.