Big red bus

The Big Red Kidney Bus will soon hit the road after its recent launch

Thousands of Australians living on dialysis will now be able to take a holiday without missing life-saving treatments.

Victoria Minister for Health David Davis officially launched Kidney Health Australia’s Big Red Kidney Bus last week.

The bus will provide mobile dialysis – travelling to popular holiday spots where it will set up for six weeks at a time, staffed by Monash Health renal nurses and technicians.

Kidney Health Australia Chief Executive Officer Anne Wilson is proud to see the project finally come to fruition after three years of planning.

"It can be extremely difficult for those with end-stage kidney disease to take a holiday, due to the restrictions of their treatment," she says.

"Dialysis patients need to have treatment – either at the hospital or at home = for up to five hours at a time, three days a week, and it can be difficult to book a holiday dialysis chair as availabilities are very limited around Australia.

"Now, for the first time in the world, dialysis patients will be able to access mobile dialysis at popular holiday destination, allowing them to get much needed respite and a break from their normal treatment routine."

The idea for the bus came from dialysis patient Vince Tripodi in 2011, although he has since passed away.

Monash Health Director of Nephrology Peter Kerr says having access to the bus will make a big difference to Australians who use dialysis.

"This initiative will give patients the kind of flexibility to get away and take a break that many of us take for granted and ultimately, we believe this will lead to an improved quality of life for patients who use the bus."

The project would not have been possible without Monash Health, H&L Hecht Trust, John and Thirza Charitable Trust, The Grenda Foundation, Ventura Bus Corporation, Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, and Fresenius.

The organisation hopes to eventually replicate the program across the country

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