18403133_1337824946305428_5788389631607015612_nThe state’s first mobile dialysis service in a bus will be visiting the popular holiday spots of Umina, Nelson Bay, Coffs Harbour and Ballina later this year giving patients living with kidney failure the chance to holiday without the worry of missing life-saving treatment. I am very pleased that this wonderful service has been made available so that people who rely on dialysis can escape for a bit of much-needed relaxation.

It’s a great opportunity for  dialysis patients to plan a holiday or visit local friends and family. The NSW Government has provided more than $382,000 for up to 250 patients a year to receive dialysis on the Big Red Kidney Bus.

The Big Red Kidney Bus, a partnership between Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) and Kidney Health Australia, is a state-of-the art unit fitted with three dialysis chairs and will provide about 1,500 dialysis treatments a year when at full capacity.

The bus will complement the state-wide service currently delivered through RNSH’s Sydney Dialysis Centre.

Mikaela Stafrace, CEO of Kidney Health Australia, said almost 3,000 people in NSW are living on haemodialysis, however many more are at risk of kidney disease. “Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms and can affect people of all ages. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, weight problems, people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, smokers and those with a family history of kidney problems should ask their doctor for a Kidney Health Check every two years,” said Ms Stafrace.

The bus will stop for six weeks in each holiday location, beginning in Umina (15 May-24 June), Nelson Bay (3 July-1 August), Coffs Harbour (21 August-30 September) and Ballina (9 October-18 November). Bookings can be made be made by contacting Kidney Health Australia bigredkidneybus@kidney.org.au or by calling 1800 454 363.