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Patients to Benefit from New East Vancouver Renal Unit

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VANCOUVER – More patients from across the Lower Mainland are able to receive better kidney care closer to home thanks to the opening of the new East Vancouver Community Dialysis Unit.

“This new community dialysis unit improves access to vital, life-saving services by placing the facility closer to where patients live,” said Citizens’ Services Minister Mary McNeil, on behalf of Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. “Those in East Vancouver will benefit from one of the most efficient and technologically advanced dialysis facilities in the country.”

In the past, East Vancouver dialysis patients had to travel to St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital or other dialysis units to receive hours of treatment three to four times a week.

“The biggest advantage is the convenience,” said Jesse Agecoutay, who has been a dialysis patient for six and a half years. Agecoutay used to leave his home in East Vancouver at 6 a.m. to beat the traffic when he had to go to the Vancouver Community Dialysis Unit three times a week. “Now the clinic is just 10 minutes away. I can take the SkyTrain right there.”

The Province, Vancouver Coastal Health, the BC Renal Agency – an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority – and Providence Health Care provided the $540,000 in funding required to open this clinic.

The new East Vancouver Community Dialysis Unit will feature state-of-the-art equipment, including:

  • New dialysis machines with flat touch screens and a fully rotatable monitor display to facilitate fast and easy programming of therapies.
  • A patient therapy card reader that efficiently stores and reads the patient’s data when it is inserted in to the machine’s card reader. By storing patient-specific settings with profiles on the card, setup times and errors can be reduced.
  • Ultra pure water and stainless steel plumbing to all machines. Some recent studies suggest that ultra pure water can lead to lower infection rates and better quality dialysis treatment.

Each of the 15 treatment stations features individual flat-screen TVs with headsets. The televisions offer on-demand movies, but can also be used for teaching patients about the dialysis equipment, different treatments and special diets.

“The new unit is a major step forward for renal services, giving us access to additional capacity within the Vancouver Coastal Health region and the most modern equipment currently available,” said Dr. Michael Copland, medical director, kidney services for Providence Health Care and Vancouver Coastal Health and a UBC clinical instructor. “The bright, spacious, modern surroundings are much more comfortable for kidney patients, and feedback has been very positive.”

For the clinic’s operator, Providence Health Care, the new clinic further strengthens its renal care services.

“The number of people with renal risks and illnesses is growing. In partnership with the Ministry of Health Services, BC Provincial Renal Agency and health authorities, Providence Health Care is utilizing breakthrough research in our laboratories and clinics to improve care outcomes, while helping patients gain independence through such initiatives as the home dialysis program,” said Dianne Doyle, president and CEO of Providence Health Care.

Dialysis is a life-saving procedure for patients with kidney failure. It is performed to replace the kidneys’ failed function of filtering waste products and excess fluid from the blood. Dialysis is a temporary treatment for some, but for those whose loss of kidney function is permanent, dialysis is needed on a regular basis. The only other treatment for kidney failure is a kidney transplant.

The new East Vancouver Community Dialysis Unit will have 15 dialysis stations, two training stations for home hemodialysis and the capacity to treat 90 new patients. Providence Health Care is now responsible for operating seven community dialysis units from Richmond to Powell River, in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health.

Patients for this new dialysis unit have been selected based on their stability on dialysis, control of their underlying medical conditions and place of residence. Individuals requiring more medical support will remain in the care of their home hospital.

The East Vancouver Community Dialysis Unit opened its doors to patients Sept. 14, 2010. It is located at 2845 Grandview Highway, directly beside the Renfrew SkyTrain station, making it that much easier for patients to access.

Over the next three years, British Columbia’s health system will benefit from investments in health-care infrastructure, such as the opening of the East Vancouver Community Dialysis Unit, as part of a $2.3-billion health sector capital plan.


Media contact: Bernadette Murphy
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health Services
250 952-1887 (media line)

Trudi Beutel
Vancouver Coastal Health
604 708-5282

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