Gold Coasters with chronic kidney disease will soon have access to dialysis treatment closer to home thanks to $1.6 million in Palaszczuk Government funding.
The Big Red Kidney Bus will be equipped with three haemodialysis spaces and start travelling throughout the Gold Coast in mid-2023.
The service will be the first of its kind in the state, easing the burden for the more than 80 per cent of Gold Coast patients who travel to hospital multiple times a week to receive treatment.
Tourists with chronic kidney disease will also be able to access the service, eliminating treatment barriers that often make travelling prohibitive.
Robina Lions Club strongly advocated for the service and raised $300,000 to equip the Big Red Kidney Bus with an access ramp and dialysis equipment.
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the service will make all the difference to people in our community.
“I’m pleased that the Palaszczuk Government has been able to support this initiative, but grateful of the extraordinary work of Robina Lions Club who have been instrumental in providing this service.
“Rather than the burden of spending hours at the hospital for treatment, the bus will bring the services Gold Coasters with chronic kidney disease need much closer to home.”
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath said number of people requiring haemodialysis on the Gold Coast is growing each year.
"We are proud to partner with Kidney Health Australia to provide this service,” Minister D’Ath said.
“For tourists with chronic kidney disease, this service provides an opportunity to enjoy our iconic Gold Coast lifestyle without having to worry about finding treatment.”
Kidney Health Australia CEO Chris Forbes is excited to be working in partnership with Gold Coast Health to support home dialysis training and expand Kidney Health Australia’s respite program into Queensland.
“Our Big Red Kidney Bus mobile dialysis program is much loved by our kidney community as it gives them the freedom to move beyond their treating clinic and visit other parts of Australia – a freedom so many of us take for granted.
“We wish to thank the Queensland Government, Gold Coast Health and our funding partner, Robina Lions Club for making this a reality for so many people.”
For the Chairman of the Robina Lions Club, John McIntyre, it has been five years of sausage sizzles, raffles and fundraising efforts to get the Kidney Bus on the road.
“Kidney disease does not discriminate; it affects the young through to the elderly and our aim is to provide a better quality of life for those living with this devastating disease.”
“This project has been driven by Robina Lions Club in partnership with Lions Club International, Lions Clubs across Australia and our fantastic community support.”