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Cabinet approves funding for new dialysis units
Having spent $50 million annually to dialyze 1,167 patients at private hospitals, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is now planning to scrap this arrangement and place additional dialysis machines at public hospitals.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian following a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Deyalsingh said he had just received approval from Cabinet to set up more patient-oriented haemodialysis suites in public hospitals rather than transfer dialysis patients to private hospitals.
“We spend $50 million per year to dialyze patients. We have 1,167 patients being dialyzed privately. I just came out of Cabinet and I have a Cabinet note to do just that,” Deyalsingh responded when asked why Government was spending millions at private hospitals when more dialysis machines could be set up in public hospitals at a cheaper price.
He added, “I am now awaiting a Request For Proposal (RFP) to engage dialysis centres in a formal manner with the Government in a more patient centric model. where we will do not just dialysis but also renal care.”
Asked how many additional dialysis units will be purchased and when they will come on stream, Deyalsingh said this is still being worked out. He could not say how much money government will save or how much money will be spent to establish the services.
Deyalsingh also denied that some patients were not receiving dialysis since Medcorp Limited was removed from the list of private centres contracted by the Ministry.
“All 47 patients who were being dialyzed at Medcorp have already been transferred so no patient is doing without dialysis. Other centres are working with us and between the other centres and public institutions, no patient is going without dialysis. No one’s life is in danger,” Deyalsingh said.
He did not want to divulge why some centres were removed from the Ministry’s list but said a team of quality personnel have been monitoring the private centres since the start of 2016.
“When I became Minister there were complaints stretching back two yeas and nobody did anything about it,” Deyalsingh added.
List of centres still contracted by the ministry
Princes Town Dialysis Centre
Trinidad Dialysis in Sangre Grande
Caribbean Kidney Dialysis
Nova Medical Centre
Institute of Medical Education (IME)
KDR Medical Care Limited
Seventh Day Adventist Community Hospital
St Augustine Private Hospital
John Haynes Medical