Upgrades at Dialysis Unit
Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday that the Dialysis Unit at Princess Margaret Hospital will soon have new machines, and noted that new chairs have already been installed.
This comes months after the unit came under heavy criticism, with Hospital Administrator Mary Lightbourne-Walker citing a shortage of equipment and trained nurses. She also said that the dialysis machines were “plagued” with operational failures.
She said the persistent problems at the unit contributed to patients being unable to receive their optimal treatment time of three hours and 30 minutes. Lightbourne-Walker also pointed to a leaky ceiling, flooding and a malfunctioning air conditioning system as problems in the unit.
Outside Cabinet yesterday, Sands said, “We are trying to do a little bit each day to try and make things better for the patients, and so it’s had a bit of a facelift.
“There are all brand new chairs. We are about to get some new machines.”
He added, “And this is all as we are getting ready to move the Dialysis Unit to a brand new site. So we’ve heard the concerns. We recognize that the unit has not been ideal, and one day at a time, one piece at a time, we are trying to make the health system better for our patients.”
Sands said the unit is now sufficiently staffed, but that work is being done to recruit and retain specialty nurses across the hospital system.
“As of today, we have 163, I believe, dialysis patients, and we have more than enough dialysis nurses for the time being, but yes, we are trying to not only recruit, but retain specialty nurses across the system,” he said.
“So compared to the challenge we would have had a few months ago, as of today, at least in dialysis, things are going pretty well.”