Ipswich Hospital in Queensland, Australia, has opened an acute haemodialysis unit to improve access to inpatient dialysis for kidney disease patients.

The six-bed, purpose-built unit is part of the Queensland Government’s A$22m ($14.36m) Ipswich Hospital Expansion Minor Works project.

The expanded capacity means the new unit can provide 72 sessions of haemodialysis each week.

Queensland Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said: “We know that some people are required to travel up to three times a week to receive haemodialysis treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD).

“It is fantastic to announce that Ipswich Hospital now offers a complete kidney service, which includes access to care from highly experienced nursing and medical staff, who are providing the best quality of care.

“The unit is equipped with cardiac monitoring to provide a higher level of care if required, lowering the number of transfers to the intensive care unit.”

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One in three adults in Queensland is estimated to be at increased risk of developing CKD.

An estimated 24,000 adults in Queensland’s West Moreton region have at least one biomedical sign of the disease such as reduced kidney function.

The West Moreton Kidney Health Service currently supports around 1,000 CKD patients.

Bundamba MP Lance McCallum said: “The new facility will provide more than 3,700 occasions of service for people with CKD.

“This is great news for dialysis patients who will now have access to better health services closer to home.”

Earlier this year, the Queensland government awarded a tender for the A$710m Ipswich Hospital Stage II expansion project.

The expansion project will include 200 new beds, an emergency department, an acute clinical service building and six operating theatres, as well as a satellite medical imaging service and central sterilisation service department.

Construction company BESIX Watpac was selected to build the expansion.