Australia’s Queensland Government has selected design and construction company Paynters to build a satellite dialysis unit at Capricorn Coast Hospital in Yeppoon.

The unit is being built with an A$10.4m ($6.79m) investment and will feature eight treatment spaces, enhancing the accessibility of kidney specialist care for Central and Western Queensland residents. 

It aims to provide life-sustaining care closer to home for residents, potentially saving them up to five hours of travel time each week.

These services are currently provided through the Kidney Health Service at Rockhampton Hospital, with support from expert renal nurses.

The government said that 11 patients from the Capricorn Coast currently travel to Rockhampton three times a week for dialysis.

Construction of the satellite dialysis unit is expected to begin in the first half of this year, with completion scheduled for later in the year subject to the availability of building materials.

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Queensland Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Minister and Women’s Minister Shannon Fentiman: “At the moment, patients are travelling around five hours to get treatment three times a week in Rockhampton; this new service will cut that travel time completely.

“New and expanded services in rural and regional areas are a priority for the Miles Government and the unit at Capricorn Coast Hospital is another example of our commitment to providing Queenslanders with quality care, where and when they need it.” 

Yeppoon’s Capricorn Coast Hospital and Health Service offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient care, including via a 24-hour emergency department.

The development is part of the Queensland government’s wider efforts to improve access to kidney healthcare services in the state.  

Since 2019, the state government has spent A$66m on regional kidney healthcare services.

Fentiman noted that it had also allocated a further A$44.55m to additional dialysis treatment spaces across regional, rural and remote areas.