The Government of Manitoba in Canada has announced the start of construction to establish a new renal unit at Bethesda Regional Health Centre.

The new unit is part of the first phase of a $24.58m (C$32m) capital project that will expand the site.

It will allow dialysis patients to receive care closer to home.

The renovations include providing space for 15 additional acute-care medicine beds and eight surgical beds, and pharmacy upgrades to support delivery of chemotherapy services

They also include investment to treat patients for various needs in chronic and cardiopulmonary disease, palliative and end-of-life care, and women’s health.

The new renal services follow a feasibility study and review which looked at the number of patients travelling outside the community for dialysis treatment.

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Manitoba Renal Programme medical director Dr Mauro Verrelli said: “Providing kidney dialysis services in Steinbach will significantly improve quality of life for patients receiving this life-saving treatment.

“It will eliminate their need to travel to other cities multiple times per week to receive dialysis, saving them time and energy, and keep them close to the network of family and friends they rely upon for support.”

This project is part of about $623.7m (C$812m) investment to build, expand and renovate the health-care facilities across the province.

It is part of Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventive Services Plan.

Other projects include the expansion and renovation of the Brandon Regional Health Centre and Western Manitoba Cancer Centre, and the construction of a new hospital in Portage la Prairie.

New hospitals in Portage la Prairie, and Neepawa will also be constructed.

The projects also include expansion of Boundary Trails Health Centre in Winkler/Morden, the Selkirk Regional Health Centre, and Lakeshore General Hospital in Ashern.

The new dialysis unit is anticipated to commence operations as soon as next summer, with construction on the overall project slated to conclude by 2025.