New nurse housing to boost remote community renal services

13:51' 11-01-2019
The Purple House renal health project will be able to build on its success, with the Liberal National Government providing a further $1.36 million for construction of two new houses for nurses in Pukatja, South Australia, and the refurbishment of a home for nurse accommodation in Mt Liebig, Northern Territory.

    Photo: The Record

    This investment will help ensure the recently announced $25 million program will increase the number of Central Australian remote clinics to 17 and provide suitable accommodation to house clinical staff needed to provide these critical services.

    Our Government’s commitment to Purple House and the Elders who oversee this service helps patients remain on country, connected to their communities and receiving support from their family and social networks.

    Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku, or Purple House, provides more than 70 per cent of all dialysis services in Central Australia.

    The Purple House service model allows hundreds of Aboriginal patients to receive local dialysis and kidney health services, without having to travel or relocate to larger centres.

    Chronic kidney disease is a significant health challenge, with approximately 1,700 of our people receiving dialysis. Almost 60 per cent of these have begun dialysis before they turn 55.

    The community driven efforts of Purple House and the ability of patients to stay on country have contributed to greatly improved outcomes.

    Recent clinical data shows that the dialysis patient mortality rate in Central Australia is now a quarter of what it was in 1999 (reducing from 21.8 deaths /100 patient years to 5 deaths) and is less than half the rate for the rest of Australia (11.8 deaths/100 patient years).

    Our Government has allocated more than $57 million from 2014 to 2022, to improve access to renal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    This includes remote mobile dialysis clinics, clinical outreach workers, health education, kidney disease management guidelines, and a review of transplantation access.

    Remote dialysis has also been supported by a new Medical Benefits Schedule since 1 November 2018, a $34.8 million commitment over the next four years.

    Purple House is receiving almost $8 million for infrastructure projects for:

      • Amengernterneah (NT) (nurse housing and renal room)
      • Ampilatwatja (NT) (nurse housing and renal room)
      • Santa Teresa (NT) (nurse housing)
      • Lajamanu (NT) (nurse housing and renal room)
      • Kalkarindji (NT) (nurse housing and renal room)
      • Pukatja/Ernabella (SA) (nurse housing and renal room)
      • Mt Liebig (NT) (nurse housing).

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