The State Liberals are relieved to hear that at long last the Weatherill Labor Government is supporting the establishment of a permanent renal dialysis unit at Pukatja on the APY Lands.
The announcement made in Parliament today by the Health Minister is a complete backflip on the Government’s previous position, which was that a permanent dialysis unit on the APY Lands was untenable and did not have State Government support.
In 2013, the Federal Government earmarked $1.8 million of capital funding to build the Pukatja renal dialysis centre and associated staff housing.
“While we are pleased that the Minister has backflipped on this important issue and adopted our 2014 policy, we also believe he has taken far too long to arrive at the correct position,” said Mr Marshall.
“I am aware of a number of Anangu who died in hospital away from the Lands, who were unable to return home to see their family while the Weatherill Labor Government dragged its feet on this issue.
“We applaud Western Desert Dialysis for their committed advocacy to the people of remote central Australia. I am glad that they will now be able to provide medical care and comfort to people on the APY Lands.”
State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall first announced in January 2014 that if elected he would work with the Federal Government to establish a permanent facility on the Lands.
“Under the State Liberals’ policy, ongoing costs for renal dialysis treatment would be redirected to Aboriginal organisation, Western Desert Dialysis,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.
“Western Desert Dialysis is a non-profit organisation highly experienced in remote service delivery and currently operates nine regional dialysis clinics in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.”