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Dialysis Machines at SERHA’s Hospitals Improve Healthcare

KINGSTON, Jamaica. Wednesday, July 10, 2024: The South East Regional Health Authority

(SERHA) takes note of the Jamaica Gleaner’s Letter of the Day published on Friday, June 28,

2024, titled “Lack of dialysis machines hitting kidney disease patients hard.”

Between the period of September 2022 and January 2023, SERHA acquired thirty-three (33)

haemodialysis machines, which have greatly bolstered the region’s and, by extension, the nation’s ability to provide essential treatment to patients with kidney disease. The details of the acquisition are as follows:

On September 12, 2022, the Spanish Town Hospital (STH) received a donation of ten refurbished haemodialysis machines, valued at approximately $28 Million Jamaican Dollars, from Renal Dynamics, a Florida-based company. STH was at that time also the recipient of a $12 Million Jamaican Dollars donation from the National Health Fund and Transport Authority for three brand-new machines.

Additionally, in January 2023, SERHA purchased ten dialysis machines for STH at a cost of

JA$28,875,800, and another ten for the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) at a cost of

US$185,100.00. There are, therefore, a total of 18 machines in operation at STH. Five of the ten refurbished machines that STH had received had been transferred to KPH so the total at KPH is now 22 operational machines.

According to Dr. Jacqueline Wright-James, Senior Medical Officer, STH, “the hemodialysis unit at STH treats patients ranging in age from 13 to 81 years. On average, the unit performs over 6,500 dialysis sessions per year. The number of patients on the waiting list has significantly fallen to 122 from a high of 291 since 2023. The team is actively exploring strategies to increase the number of sessions and thus reduce the numbers waiting for this life-sustaining intervention.”

Mr. Errol Greene, Regional Director, SERHA, stated that these machines have improved

healthcare for patients with kidney disease. “The standard of care for renal patients has improved tremendously, providing dialysis treatment to 62 patients twice weekly at STH and 72 patients twice weekly at KPH.” He further commented that there are plans to expand dialysis services at the Center of Excellence at St. Joseph’s Hospital to deal with the increasing number of emergency sessions per month.

Mr. Wentworth Charles, Board Chairman, SERHA, along with Mr. Errol Greene, Regional Director, SERHA, examine Mr. Hugh Lawrence, a patient who was receiving dialysis treatment on one of the dialysis machines at STH, on September 12, 2022. Observing from left are: Ms. Jacqueline Ellis, Chief Executive Officer, STH, and Mrs. Novellette Robinson, Director of Nursing Services, STH.

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