NKF pushes for home-based dialysis

The National Kidney Foundation is on a drive to encourage more kidney patients to opt for a home-based form of dialysis as cost and space constraints put a limit to the number of blood dialysis centres it can build.

It will be extending social and medical welfare benefits, previously available only to blood dialysis patients, to new kidney failure patients who opt for peritoneal dialysis patients, or water dialysis.

Free basic tests and basic food necessities such as rice and oil will be given to existing and new water dialysis patients. Simple renovations too will be offered to help them improve on home hygiene conditions, which is needed for this form of dialysis.

A home nursing support programme will also be expanded so that patients have greater confidence to manage their treatment.

Announcing these measures this morning at the opening of its 25th dialysis centre, chairman Koh Poh Tiong said the continual establishment of new centres is "unsustainable in the long run" due to the high cost of building and operating new centres.

"It is also increasingly more difficult to find suitable sites," he said.

The NKF hopes the number of new patients opting for peritoneal dialysis will go up from the current 22 percent to 30-35 per cent.