The Ministry of Health has announced plans to offer dialysis patients an alternative that is cheaper than the current system, according to Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele.
Speaking at a recent post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in Tanteen, St. George’s, the minister said that government recognises that the current private provider of dialysis service in Grenada is not sufficient to meet the needs of the plethora of dialysis patients on island.
He announced that a Trinidad based company has been engaged to provide two forms of dialysis services to the people of Grenada.
“We have engaged with an entity out in Trinidad and they will be coming to provide two forms of dialysis – one would be setting up within St. George’s a location that we are currently finalising on where they would provide dialysis services there and also a Mobile Dialysis Unit that would travel across the island providing dialysis services to individuals who may find it difficult to come to St. George’s”, he said.
The average cost of one dialysis treatment for an individual is EC$700 but it is recommended that patients repeat the process at least three times per week.
Minister Steele indicated that with the coming on stream shortly of National Health Insurance, it will become much easier for patients to get dialysis treatment on the island.
He spoke of government recognizing the high increase in patients who have renal failure and “we need to have reliable services and the best way to have reliable services is to have choices for the Grenadian public”.
“The dialysis services at present are not subsidised fully by the government – individuals where there is a need, receive subsidies from the Ministry of Health.
“What we are working on now is to have a fixed cost for dialysis and with the introduction of National Health Insurance, dialysis would most definitely be one of those cost that would be covered by NHI.
“…In the interim we would continue to ensure that those in financial need are covered by the government of Grenada and those who can afford and those who have health insurance, private health insurance, would use that but in 2018 with introduction of National Health Insurance, dialysis would be covered.
Minister Steele disclosed that the Ministry of Health will be offering at the St. George’s General hospital a new dialysis treatment called Peritoneal Dialysis that would be lower in cost to that which currently exist.
“We have just last week completed the training with respect to Peritoneal Dialysis which affords the patient more mobility…it is a different form of dialysis than we are accustomed to here but is just as effective”, he said.
Peritoneal Dialysis will cost 30% of the $700 that patients are currently paying to the service provider.