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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Indigenous dialysis patients pushing for grassroots community health services

Date posted: 12 September 2017

Aboriginal dialysis patients say too many people are dying a lonely death away from their families, because they cannot be treated at home.

In remote parts of Australia, patients whose kidneys are failing often have to leave their home communities to seek dialysis treatments in larger cities and towns.

Darwin, Northern Territory, dialysis patient Cathie Nickels has watched many fellow patients in Darwin die alone and despondent.

Without family they've got nothing,' she said. 'So they look at it as though 'OK, I'm now being dialysed, that means I die'."

Many Indigenous people on dialysis are mobilising and pushing for more dialysis services designed and run by communities.

Patients from across the country have met in Darwin with doctors and specialists asking them to support grassroots health services.

Kidney specialist at the Menzies School of Health Research, Dr Jaqui Hughes, said many specialists wanted to advocate for better care.

'Doctors can take heart, I think, in that our patients are willing to teach us the right way to keep moving forward,' Dr Hughes said.

'You really are in an important position of trust and with that privilege comes the real responsibility as physicians for advocacy, but I can't advocate for them unless I know clearly what they want.'

Source: ABC news


Last updated: 12 September 2017
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