Dialysis support group wants to see unit in Rimbey

The Red Deer Advocate informed us that the renal dialysis unit in the Red Deer Hospital was operating at capacity.

Dear Editor,

The Red Deer Advocate informed us that the renal dialysis unit in the Red Deer Hospital was operating at capacity. That this event was in the making was pointed out to NARP and others some years ago by the Renal Dialysis Rimbey Support Group.

Just one more reason that governments should consider local input when making decisions.

We were attempting to contribute to the solution of a foreseeable problem by bringing attention to the availability of the Rimbey Hospital as a sight for a satellite dialysis unit that would serve the needs of rural patients.

How many rural dialysis patients travel to Red Deer for treatment?

We now know that some are proposing that the solution to over capacity is to add another renal dialysis unit in Red Deer. Would it be a private clinic?

If NARP has the funds for an urban facility, could those funds not be extended to a Rural unit? We pay taxes, too. Furthermore, is not rural Alberta the source of the governments oil and gas income?

After RRDSG began to work on behalf of a rural unit another community, Lac la Biche, received the service of a renal dialysis bus that has the necessary equipment to provide care. NARP has two such buses ; one serves northern patients and the other was parked for some time.

Rimbey and Lac la Biche renal dialysis patients have much in common. One of those is increased industrial traffic on shared highways. In a recent industrial traffic check stop by the RCMP, conducted on a highway east of Lac la Biche, 85 per cent of the vehicles were found to have driver/vehicle infractions.

What does that have to do with Rimbey?

Records from the Alberta Transportation from the years 2006 to 2010 (latest available to us) indicated 143 collisions, during snow/ice conditions, for highways 11,11A, and 20 in this area. Highway11, in particular, was 60 per cent above the provincial average.

If we don’t have the resources to keep our roads safe, should we not then have the local facility to improve the quality of life for those who are now risking their lives just to stay alive?

Irene Lovell

for Renal Dialysis Rimbey Support Group