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#398655 - 01/27/11 02:52 PM Dialysis Services Being Provided At The KHMH
Marty Offline
On February fourth, the hemo-dialysis units at the KHMH and the La Loma Luz Hospital will be officially opened. It's the product of years of back and forth with the WORTH foundation and the local kidney association, and six months of hard work since the MOU was signed.

But now it's a reality: the KHMH's Unit is up and running and presently 11 patients are receiving treatment. A complement of 15 specialized nurses will be spread between both units, along with a coterie of support staff including social workers, a nutritionists and clinicians. There is no resident nephrologist but consultations will be done daily via internet with WORTH Foundation founder Dr. Wayne Trebbin.

CEO of the KHMH Dr. Gary Longsworth told us why their dialysis programme will provide better care for victims of end stage renal failure:…

Jules Vasquez
"A program which will promote the wellness of people with end stage renal disease."

Dr. Gary Longsworth: CEO-KHMH
"End stage renal disease has many components of care a part from the actual dialysis. You need to look after the patients' other medical problems. You need to look after their nutrition. You need to consider their social and economic situation and we need to provide specialize pharmaceuticals to assist in the care of the patient. We need to provide regular lab services and every now and then you may get a situation where you need to provide additional specialist services to the patient for complete care and that's the idea behind the program; it should be a comprehensive program. It's not that these things is not available outside of our program. They are available but they come at additional cost to the patient, but they are all available."

Jules Vasquez
"Right it has agenda with in a program, now it is?"

Dr. Gary Longsworth: CEO-KHMH "In our program its subsidize, it's part of the package so its avail to the patient under heavy subsidy, so for them its practical free, everything."

That subsidy is 1.8 million dollars a year, up from the 1.6 million dollars which was being paid to Belize Heathcare Partners to provide dialysis to 26 patients. With the saving realized by the contribution of materials and equipment from WORTH, the programme will now be expanded to 32 patients.

The multi sectoral selection committee to decide who those six additional persons will be met for the first time today.

Channel 7


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#398656 - 01/27/11 02:53 PM Re: Dialysis Services Being Provided At The KHMH [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

K.H.M.H. introduces hemodialysis program for renal failure patients

Jose Cruz, the kidney patient and activist, had a dream for all who bore the same illness. He did not live to see that dream turn into a reality. Cruz wanted better facilities and treatment for kidney patients suffering from renal failure. The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is now the portal through which his dream becomes reality. The K.H.M.H. is about to introduce a hemodialysis program that will be accessible to patients. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

For years Jose Cruz had been an advocate for Belizeans suffering from renal failure who did not have adequate access to affordable hemodialysis therapy. Almost two months and several victims later Cruz’s dream will finally become a reality. On February fourth the National Hemodialysis Program will formally be introduced and will see both the Karl Heusner Memorial and the Loma Luz hospitals administering treatment to thirty-two individuals suffering from the sickness. It’s been a work in progress that has spanned the better part of a year and a half but according to Dr. Francis Longsworth there had to be major modifications to house dialysis units at both facilities.

Dr. Francis Longsworth, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

Francis Longsworth

“The process initially was a process of negotiation and accommodation and we in fact did not sign an M.O.U. until June of last year. So once we had signed the M.O.U. then the real work started which was to get the program off the ground. For that we had to do infrastructural work. We had to actually build the facilities or in our case at the K.H.M.H. we had to renovate an area of the hospital. We had to bring in the equipment. We had to train the nurses and the technicians who would take care of the equipment and all of that took months to do.”

Wayne Trebbin

The undertaking is a partnership between the Ministry of Health and the World Organization for Renal Therapies led by Dr. Wayne Trebbin.

Dr. Wayne Trebbin, Founder/President, WORTH (File: June 3rd, 2010)

It’s a momentous occasion for us. It means that we have a total commitment now to bring dialysis to Belize in conjunction with our colleagues, brothers and sisters here and our commitment is to bring state of the art, cutting edge technology of the highest quality at a price that would not cost anyone a hardship.”

The overall cost of the three-year program is upwards of one point eight million dollars to be subsidized largely by the Government of Belize with additional funding from WORTH.

Dr. Francis Longsworth

“The major financing for this program which is a National Haemodialysis Program is a budgetary input from the Ministry of Health and the Government of Belize essentially and this is supplemented by contributions from the WORTH association which is our American partners in this venture.”

Jose Cruz

In mid-2010, following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Cruz told News Five that the achievement was a milestone in the fight for proper care of kidney patients.

Jose Cruz, Deceased Kidney Patient (File: June 3rd, 2010)

“This is a matter of life and death for me. You know today I should have been in a Belmopan hospital admitted, but I said I’ll take my chances. It doesn’t really matter, I needed to be here. An advocate will always find himself in some corners sometimes because of what they are asking for and what I’m asking for is the best quality care for all Belizeans. Today I’m here, tomorrow I might die but what we have accomplished here today, I would like to see go on.”

Oversight and treatment of patients will be split down the middle between both hospitals; each unit being equipped with four dialysis stations and two backup systems. The program will be launched officially on Friday, February fourth. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

All be told, kidney patients will now be able to access treatment at more affordable prices.


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#398872 - 01/29/11 06:03 PM Re: Dialysis Services Being Provided At The KHMH [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Dialysis program is ready to go

The haemodialysis program at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is now operational and currently providing treatment for 11 patients who have been transferred from the government-aided program at Belize Healthcare Partners Limited.

The KHMH program is only days away from its official opening on February 4, announced the dialysis management team of Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts, KHMH Chief Executive Officer Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth and Michelle Vanzie, Economist for the Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, January 26.

There still remain about 15 patients receiving treatment from BHPL who will be transferred to the KHMH program at a rate of three patients per week over the next few weeks.

Dr. Longsworth said the program has a government budget of $1.8 million and will only be able to cater for a total of 32 patients, who will be evenly divided between KHMH and La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital.

This means the program will only be able to take in six more patients, besides the 26 already being treated and then it will be locked off, at least for now.

The cost of treatment to the patients the program is almost free, but Dr. Longsworth said the patients would be asked to pay a small fee to help fund the expansion of the program, so that it will eventually be able to treat more patients with renal disease.

As to who qualifies to receive dialysis treatment under program, the management team will reportedly soon set up a selection committee with representation from a cross section of non-government organizations and other professionals.

The committee will have a psychiatrist, a social worker, and representatives from the Kidney Association of Belize, the Bar Association, and the Council of Churches, as well as two from the World Organization for Renal Therapies (WORTH), one of whom will be WORTH Founder and President, Dr. Wayne Trebbin.

The program has four dialysis machines presently functioning at KHMH and another four at La Loma Luz., which are the fruition of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Health, Loma Luz, KHMH, and WORTH in June 2010.

So far only KHMH’s machines have been in use but after the official launch, the program is scheduled to commence at Loma Luz.

La Loma Luz will treat patients from the western and southern regions and KHMH will treat the northern and central regions of the country.

The program will also provide a social worker who will assist the patients and their families to adjust to the lifestyle changes that those with renal failure normally face.

It also promises to have nutritionists available to the patients, and promises assistance with the relevant pharmaceutical services.

The REporter


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#399602 - 02/05/11 03:33 PM Re: Dialysis Services Being Provided At The KHMH [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Dialysis, Finally A Public Health Reality

Two years ago, in the froth and ferment of discontent about the treatment dialysis patients were receiving - or not receiving - through a privately managed publicly funded programme, Jose Cruz came up with the idea to bring a charitable group called WORTH to Belize to set up a free dialysis unit.

At first, it sounded far-fetched, but his persistence brought them to Belize - and after 15 months of working out what the experts like to call, the "modalities" - the WORTH programme is operational in Belize: some of the 32 patients selected are receiving dialysis at two fully outfitted units, one at the KHMH and one in Cayo.

The formal launch for the city unit was held today and 7news was there:….

The KHMH Dialysis Unit was unveiled today with 5 dialysis machines. Dr Wayne Trebbin is the President of the WORTH Foundation which donated the units, the expertise and the supplies:

Dr. Wayne Trebbin, President - WORTH
"We have two dialysis units and they are now functioning really quite frankly as state of the art 21 century modern dialysis. We have already collected some metrics on the patients that have been with us for a few months and the urea reduction ratio in other metrics that we use to measure the quality of what we do shows to be doing in accessory of what we are doing, we are delighted with the staff and the administration for allowing us the opportunity to do this."

The unit will treat 16 or so of the 32 patients with end stage renal stage failure selected for the program. These patients will only be asked to a make a noncompulsory contribution:

Dr. Wayne Trebbin, President - WORTH
"The bottom line is that we are able to deliver dialysis to patients in a manner that causes no financial hardship, that's very important. So we charge the patient according to their ability to pay. In terms of the financing of the dialysis unit and so forth this is done through donations through various partners and it has work."

Trebbin will also be the consulting nephrologist for each patient:

Dr. Wayne Trebbin, President - WORTH
"The way we do this is every day I receive a detail report from the nurses, a daily report of patients and it is a narrative plus a spreadsheet of the blood pressures before and after dialysis; how much blood was process; how much harapathy of the blood was process, how much fluid was taken off the patient, they have made a diagnostic list and other many other things that are variables that we need to complete. I spend a couple of hours every day and then I write back a report telling them what to do the next day."

A team of specialized nurses and technicians will feed him the information in a programme that will cost the government 1.8 million dollars annually:

Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth, CEO - KHMH
"So today represents a commitment by the government of Belize through this national dialysis program to take care of those people affected by end stage renal disease."

Dr. Michael Pitts, Director Of Health Services
"The cost in dollars to the system is conservatively estimated about $90,000.00 per year per patient on hemodialysis. Hemodialysis spending in Belize in the public sector is proposed at 2 million dollars for 32 patients and I would like to tell you that we spend about 3 million dollars for Toledo Health District."

And while the programme just for these 32 patients is 2% of the national health budget, that it even got that level of prominence is due to the tireless awareness and agitation by Jose Cruz, the dialysis patient who championed the rights of those suffering with end stage renal failure, right up until his death in December of 2010:

Grant McPherson, Director, La Loma Luz Hospital
"Mr. Cruz call me the Wednesday before he passed away. I look back at that telephone conversation and I realize that he knew that the end was very close. And he wanted to talk; he wanted one more report about how his new dialysis center was coming along. We talk almost every week and I give him a little report on how things are going. We didn't always agree with Jose's comments but he always kept his focus on our task. I would like to announce this morning officially that the center in Cayo will be called the Jose Cruz Memorial Dialysis Unit."

That unit is in Cayo and was opened today - and so while there are two publicly funded units in operation, renal failure is a growing problem:

Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth, CEO - KHMH
"End stage renal disease is an evolving problem in Belize as Dr. Pitts pointed out as it is in many parts of the world and the truth is that we do not know the full extent of the problem at this time."

Dr. Michael Pitts, Director Of Health Services
"In health we recognize the ever increasing numbers of end stage renal disease. Numbers that up to this day cannot be fully catalogue, not here and even internationally. Even in the US they have difficulty in these numbers`. What we know however is that there are certain disease and behaviors in the community that is fueling this level of insult."

Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth, CEO - KHMH
"Which can be avoided in many instances by choices that we make in the way that we live, what we ingest into our bodies, our weight, our levels of physical activity as we go through life, so while dialysis provides a means of treatment it would be far more desirable to avoid getting to the point of requiring dialysis any at all if we can. I would urge us as a society to take urgent steps to improve our quality of life through lifestyle changes since avoidance of the need for dialysis can only benefit us all both individually and collectively as a people."

The launch was also held this afternoon in Santa Elena at the Loma Luz Hospital for the Jose Cruz Unit. We'll show you how that looks on Monday..

Channel 7


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#399603 - 02/05/11 03:34 PM Re: Dialysis Services Being Provided At The KHMH [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

STATE OF THE ART HAEMODIALYSIS CENTERS OPENED

February 04, 2011

With an increasing number of Belizeans suffering from renal failure, Belize is one step closer at bridging the gap with its launch of two Haemodialysis centres. Located at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City and the La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital in Cayo, the centers are fully equipped with eight dialysis machines. Dr. Wayne Trebbin is the President of the World Organization of Renal Therapies.

Dr. Wayne Trebbin – President, World Organization of Renal Therapies
 “They are now functioning really quite frankly as state of the art modern dialysis. We have already collected some metrics on the patients that have been with us for a few months and the urea reduction ratio and other metrics we use to mesure the quality of what we do shows to be doing in an excellent fashion. We are delighted with the staff and the administration for allowing us the opportunity to do this. The bottom line is that we are able to deliver dialysis to patients in a manner that causes them no financial hardship and that is very important, so we charge the patient according to their ability to pay. In terms of the financing of the dialysis unit and so forth, this is done through donations of the various partners and it has worked.”

For most patients, hope lies in frequent dialysis and finally a kidney transplant. Renal failure is when the kidneys fail to remove the "waste" and purify the blood in a person's body. Patients suffering from renal failure fall into one of two categories 'Acute Renal Failure' or 'Chronic Renal Failure.' But who qualifies for the Belize haemodialysis program?

Dr. Wayne Trebbin – President, World Organization of Renal Therapies
“Those patients who will be dialyzed by us will benefit from good high technology. What the future holds, we don’t’ know. Will we be able to expand to take more patients, I don’t know. In terms of more units, I do think that eventually we will open a third shift each day and who knows about a fourth shift. It will depend on our staffing and things like that. Patients who has what is known as chronic kidney disease stage five, which is basically kidney disease that is irreversible and not enough to sustain life and that is the major qualification. There are other qualifications with limited resources in terms quality of life and so forth that we will be preserving. But the major qualification is end stage kidney disease.”

Dialysis patients can now access a high standard of medical care as the dialysis machines have the capacity to treat up to eight cases per day. The program is a comprehensive one as it offers medical and social support, laboratory testing, pharmaceuticals and nutritional education in addition to dialysis. Reporting for Love News, I am Maria Novelo.

KHMH and LLLAH nurses and technicians have been trained to operate the dialysis machines both in theory and practical and have participated in the treatment of eleven patients since September 22nd 2010. The La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital Haemodialysis program in Cayo will be named after kidney advocate Jose Cruz who recently lost his life in a long battle of kidney failure.

LOVEFM


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#399609 - 02/05/11 03:43 PM Re: Dialysis Services Being Provided At The KHMH [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National hemodialysis program kicks off today

The government’s national hemodialysis program kicked off today with the opening of the K.H.M.H. and the La Loma Luz treatment units. The launch has been long anticipated and the units took fifteen months put together. It will make treatment affordable to a growing number of patients with chronic renal failure. The cost per session will be subsidized depending on the means of the patient. News Five’s Marion Ali was present for the opening of the unit at the K.H.M.H.

Marion Ali, Reporting

The symbolic cutting of the ribbon at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s new Hemodialysis Centre marked the official introduction of the long-awaited National Dialysis Programme. More symbolic will be the access that the poor will have to the life-saving treatment at a much more affordable cost.

Dr. Gary Longsworth, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

“We’re going to ask the patients to pay a small co-payment per session. There’s a range depending on the patient’s ability to pay.”

Marion Ali

“And that will be determined by?”

Dr. Gary Longsworth

“That will be determined by the social worker who will assess each patient and in ability to payment is not going to be a deterrent. So we’re not going to refuse anybody treatment because of inability to pay, but we’re going to ask them to provide small co-payment of between fifteen dollars to about eighty dollars, depending on their means, per session. That’s a far cry from what they’re paying now.”

Those who will benefit from the service are those living with acute renal failure. The programme will be subsidized by the government and the World Organization of Renal Therapies, or WORTH for short, and is the result of fifteen months of planning and investment. The project came at a cost of two million Belize dollars to WORTH. The organization’s President, Dr. Wayne Trebbin, says each of the four units in operation at the hospital will be in use twice a day for now.

Dr. Wayne Trebbin, President, WORTH

wayne trebbin

“It is a little heartbreaking that we can’t take care of everybody but we have limited resources. Those patients who will be dialyzed by us will benefit from good, high technology. What the future holds, we don’t know. Will we be able to expand to take more patients? I don’t know. In terms of more units, I do think that eventually we will open a third shift each day, and who knows about a fourth shift. It will depend on our staffing and things like that.”

Marion Ali

“Who qualifies to receive the treatment?”

Dr. Wayne Trebbin

“Patients who have chronic kidney disease, stage five, which is basically kidney disease that’s irreversible and not enough to sustain life.”

And speaking of sustaining, because dialysis and maintenance of the machines is so expensive, roughly about a million dollars a year, Dr Trebbin says that WORTH will subsidize the centre for five years, at best.

Dr. Wayne Trebbin

“WORTH is committed for three years with the possible extension for two more years, after which the units need to be self-sustaining.”

Marion Ali

“Now you said that after five years you will have to be self-sustainable. Does that mean that the patient then will have to pay more?”

Dr. Gary Longsworth

Gary Longsworth

“No, actually we would like to maintain the subsidy, but we have to find ways to finance the programme. Where do we get the money from? Well, we’re looking at commercial dialysis – meaning that people who come in like visitors who come in, who may want to be dialyzed, people on holiday, tourists, people of means who are not in the programme, but who want to access the programme; we have to look down the road at that as a means of financing. We also have to consider affordable sources of material and supplies (we would either have to source them) or we have to find a way to make our own dialyzate. It’s not impossible to make our own dialyzate in Belize.”

But while the programme is a God-send for those who ordinarily cannot afford treatment, Doctor Gary Longsworth, in his speech, urged everyone to live healthy lifestyles and eliminate the need for the expensive treatment.

Dr. Gary Longsworth

“I would urge us as a society to take urgent steps to improve our quality of life through lifestyle changes, since avoidance of the need for dialysis can only benefit us all both individually and collectively as a people. Our health services must continue to promote and enhance screening for prevention of lifestyle diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, and must continually educate the public of the health risks posed by obesity, cigarettes, alcohol and drug abuse, to name a few.”

At today’s ceremony, the nurses and technical team who will administer the treatment were recognized for having shown dedication to their job, having sat the exams and passed the day after Hurricane Richard. Marion Ali for News Five.

The first three treatments were successfully administered at the K.H.M.H. dialysis centre on Thursday. The dialysis centre at La Loma Luz Hospital is named after the late Jose Cruz, who was a renal patient who fought for the centers to become a reality.

Channel 5


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