Row prompts review of dialysis services

Adam Cresswell; 11/5/10

Dialysis services for kidney patients in Central Australia are to be scrutinised in a joint governmental review following a barrage of criticism over indigenous patients being turned away from Alice Springs. The review, to be conducted by the commonwealth in conjunction with the governments of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia, will seek to work out ways to avoid making patients travel thousands of kilometres away from their homes to receive kidney treatment. The study was imperative, said the federal Minister for Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon. The current poor co-ordination of services caused a scandal in February when it emerged that a senior indigenous community leader from Ernabella, in the north of South Australia, had been told she would have to travel to Adelaide for dialysis treatment, despite Alice Springs being much closer.