The Rural Municipality of Hanover is urging the province to take another look at a dialysis machine for Steinbach.

In March, the province announced it was expanding dialysis services, but did not include Steinbach on that list. Steinbach resident Bob Barrow has taken it upon himself to try and get a kidney dialysis program going at Bethesda Regional Health Centre. He is asking residents of the southeast to join him in voicing concerns to local politicians.

"I got three personal letters," says Hanover Reeve Stan Toews. "They realize that I'm not in charge of that but they said we're trying everything."

(Hanover Reeve Stan Toews)Barrow has been driving an elderly gentleman to Winnipeg for dialysis three times a week for more than 18 months now. He says this gentleman is one of about 137 people from the southeast leaving the region in order to access the service.

"It's a four hour time that you have to spend on the machine there," says Toews. "It takes basically the whole day for a person, and usually these people cannot drive themselves, somebody has to take them in."

When the province announced the expansion of the service in March, it listed Winnipeg as one of the locations. Toews says if they had chosen to rather expand to Steinbach, that might lessen the need in Winnipeg.

"If Winnipeg is getting another machine, that means they are over-taxed from what they've got," says Toews. "Why wouldn't they spread it out so people can do a little less travelling and save a lot of dollars on gas and wear and tear on our roads?"

Barrow says over the years, he has been told Steinbach is too close to Winnipeg to warrant having a program. Toews says he doesn't buy that argument, and neither does Hanover Councillor Bernie Stahn, who says if proximity to Winnipeg is a factor, then Selkirk shouldn't have the service either.

Council for the RM of Hanover has decided to write a letter to the province, urging it to reconsider.

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Province Urged To Bring Dialysis To Steinbach