The new renal dialysis unit is up and running at Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach.
Bobbi Thompson, Director of Health Services at the hospital, says the six-bay unit officially opened on October 16th. Thompson explains that the unit can accommodate 24 total patients. She says patients will typically come three days per week. With two treatment cycles able to be performed per day, the unit can handle 12 patients daily and 24 each week.
Thompson says so far, things are going well.
"The staff are really enjoying their days, they are enjoying the patients," she says. "It's been a very good couple of weeks."
According to Thompson, the unit employs a clinical resource nurse, two registered nurses, three licensed practical nurses, three health care aids, two unit clerks and a social worker.
Thompson says at this time, they are building their patient base. She notes all patients are referred through the local centre for the Manitoba Renal Program (MRP). It is the MRP that performs the assessment and then notifies the unit in Steinbach as to which patients will be coming.
It is still early on, but Thompson says they are hearing very positive comments from patients.
"They are very happy to be coming to Steinbach and not having to drive to Winnipeg," she notes.
Thompson points out that most of their patients come from southeastern Manitoba, including Ste. Anne, Niverville and St. Malo. She notes they are expecting some will soon come who live in Steinbach.
"It's very important," notes Thompson, referring to the unit opening in Steinbach. "So, residents of southeast Manitoba who require dialysis are able to get their care closer to home."
According to Southern Health, this project involved relocating two existing departments - IV/ wound therapy and children's rehabilitation within the Community Health Services building. The regional health authority says the natural wood accents, uplifting teal hues, flexible furnishings and privacy screens paired with specialized health care equipment create a state-of-the-art space prioritizing comfort and care.
Southern Health says the new unit will help reduce commute times for nearby residents and alleviate demand on other dialysis centres.
Construction of the dialysis unit officially started in August of 2022, when Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon made a stop in Steinbach. At that time, Gordon said there were currently 23 hemodialysis patients living in the southeast who could benefit from the six-bay unit at Bethesda.
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, SteinbachOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the SteinbachOnline app.