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Dialysis patients given choice of treatment

30 October 2012 - 12:18pm
Written by: 
Jethro Still

Around one in nine Australians - approximately 1.7 million - aged over 25 have at least one clinical sign of existing chronic kidney disease (CKD), such as reduced kidney function.

CKD is a growing health problem, with Kidney Health Australia stating that a person can lose up to 90 per cent of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms.

A landmark three-year national education program by Kidney Health Australia will allow Australian dialysis patients to choose their best form of treatment, with the program funded by the Australian government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Flexible Fund.

The End-Stage Kidney Disease National Education Programme aims to provide high quality information about treatment options to health professionals, so that they can help support patients make the treatment decisions themselves.

A nationwide survey found that dialysis users would like to change their location for treatment, with 58 per cent wanting to change to home therapy. Peritoneal dialysis and haemodialysis can both be performed at home, but only 30 per cent of patients dialyse at home.

Dr Tim Mathew, Kidney Health Australia's national medical director, said that home dialysis is the 'preferred treatment option' which leads to better health outcomes and wellbeing for patients.

"Self-management and patient-centred care are optimised when at home, which contributes to improvements in mortality and hospitalisation rates, blood pressure control and overall quality of life," said Dr Mathew.

You can ensure you and your loved ones get the appropriate treatment and care for medical needs with private health cover.

Your health consultant can assist you to compare health insurance plans to find the policy that best suits you and your family.