Australia, Bus Industry News

First Queensland kidney dialysis bus to provide life saving treatment

The Big Red Kidney Bus is continuing to expand, this time onto the sunny Gold Coast

Gold Coasters and visitors with chronic kidney disease who need regular dialysis will soon be able to access the Gold Coast Big Red Kidney Bus for life-saving treatment in a major boost for the Big Red Kidney Bus service.

The Gold Coast Big Red Kidney Bus provides dialysis in the community for Gold Coasters and visitors as well as teaching people how to do their renal treatment at home. 

The initiative is a partnership between Queensland Health, providing $1.6 million funding towards medical operations, and Kidney Health Australia, providing the refurbished bus and respite management. 

The bus service is made possible thanks to $300,000 of fundraising, almost $250,000 of which came from the Lions Club of Robina.

The Gold Coast Big Red Kidney Bus includes two dialysis chairs for home haemodialysis training and one for respite, an access ramp, a kitchenette and individual entertainment units. 

The service will operate from August, with Queensland minister for housing Meaghan Scanlon saying the joint initiative is part of the Connecting Community Pathways program.

“Each week, more than 250 people receive renal dialysis at Gold Coast Health facilities but now the new mobile dialysis service brings this lifesaving kidney treatment and education closer to their home,” Scanlon says.

“We know that the number of people requiring haemodialysis on the Gold Coast is growing each year, and going to a hospital for every treatment, three days a week, can be a huge imposition on their lives.

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“Thirty-seven per cent of dialysis patients on the Gold Coast carry out their renal treatment at home after three to six months of dialysis education from specialist nurses.”

Gold Coast Health clinical director of specialist medical services Dr Carl de Wet says home dialysis can offer better lifestyle advantages.

“Big Red Kidney Bus will provide a valuable education service for specialist nurses to teach patients how to carry out their own renal treatment at home,” he says.

“This service allows us to leave the in-hospital dialysis services for those who are acutely unwell and to provide care, training, and support in the community.

Kidney Health Australia CEO Chris Forbes says the Big Red Kidney Bus has been in high demand in Victoria and New South Wales while being eagerly awaited in Queensland.

“Our Big Red Kidney Bus mobile dialysis program is much loved by our kidney community as it gives them the freedom to move beyond their treating clinic and visit other parts of Australia – a freedom so many of us take for granted,” Forbes says.

“It also gives families and carers the flexibility to go on extended holidays while their loved one is provided first-class medical care for free, at the holiday destination.

“We are excited to be working in partnership with the Queensland government and Gold Coast Health’s expert medical team to support home dialysis training and expand Kidney Health Australia’s respite program into Queensland.”

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