-working patients will soon be accommodated on Sundays
Subsidized dialysis is now being offered at the Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital (DBSH). The privately operated East Street hospital in making the announcement Friday said that this subsidized service commenced on September 1, 2019.
“We are offering our dialysis sessions at a subsidized cost. Our center is currently open Monday to Saturday 7:00h to 19:00h and will soon be offering a Sunday clinic so that we can accommodate patients that are still able to work,” the hospital said in a statement.
According to the statement, the decision to subsidize dialysis to $12,000 per session is premised on the realisation that “there is an increasing need for dialysis in Guyana, and there is an even greater need for dialysis to be done under adequate supervision which is done by our in-house nephrologist.”
According to the hospital, the price of $12,000 is on par with the not for profit Doobay Dialysis Centre and cheaper than all other private centers.
In a comment on this recent development, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Madhu Singh, said, “Before choosing a Dialysis Center, patients must enquire about whether the Center offers direct supervision of their patients by a Nephrologist. We have made the effort to have a full time Nephrologist who provides this service. We are the only private dialysis centre that offers this service along with our highly competitive prices.”
According to her, the hospital’s resident Nephrologist, Dr. Justo Tamayo Velazquez, has been in Guyana for over one year and not only oversees dialysis but routinely checks on dialysis patients.
“Dr. Velazquez, our nephrologist was born in Holguin, Cuba, and has more than 25 years of experience in Nephrology with several years of teaching experience. He has served as the President of the Board for the Nephrology specialists in Cuba.
Dr. Singh recognises the importance of a dialysis center to have a nephrologist supervising the patients’ sessions and making appropriate adjustments.
As he shared about his role to care for dialysis patients here in Guyana, Dr. Velazquez said that “The incidence of renal failure in Guyana is high because of the extremely high prevalence of chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Hypertension. Patients need to be educated on the risks of not taking their medications and making lifestyle changes.”
He added that, “Early diagnosis and treatment of renal impairment is essential to a good outcome. Prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes is better than dealing with the complications.”
The Regulations to the Health Facilities Licensing Act 2007 (Act No 26 of 2007) in Section 28, requires that every Dialysis Center be supervised directly by a nephrologist, and the Dr. Balwant’s Hospital is said to be the only private dialysis centre currently meeting this requirement.
Hemodialysis, which is offered at the hospital, is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine.
Moreover, dialysis keeps the fluid and different molecules and ions in the blood in balance when the kidneys cannot carry out their designated functions efficiently. Most patients on dialysis have sessions done about two to three times per week in order to maintain a good fluid and electrolyte balance. The dialysis treatment process offered at the Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital is not standard and it is often tailored to a patient’s needs in order to maintain fluid levels and other parameters within the desired ranges.
Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital was the first hospital to introduce dialysis service back in 2010, according to Dr. Singh. Prior to this, there was only one outpatient dialysis service in Guyana. Initially it was introduced as part of the inpatient services for critical patients with renal failure, but then expanded to an outpatient service. Currently the private hospital has five dialysis machines, and, according to Dr. Singh, “we would be expanding this to eight machines within the next month.” About two to three hundred dialysis sessions are conducted per month for outpatients at the hospital.
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