MUHC: A Partner In Health Care Network Initiative

Published: 22 January 2001

The McGill University Health Centre(MUHC) participated in the launching today of a Hemodialysis Clinic in Chibougamau as a full partner in this innovative health care initiative.

"Over the past year leading up to today's launching, the Hemodialysis Clinic at the Montreal General Hospital(MGH) has provided expertise and support on three levels," says Dr. Murray Vasilevsky, Chief of Nephrology and Director of the MGH Dialysis Clinic. "We provided expertise on facility design and the organisation of dialysis services; we offered two, eight-week training sessions for the four nurses currently working in the Chibougamau Clinic, as well as for other health care professionals such as physicians, pharmacists, dieticians and social workers; and we assume medical responsibilities for eight dialysis patients from this community."

Adds Dr. Vasilevsky, "I think I speak for the entire dialysis care team at the MGH when I say that we are very proud to have contributed in this way to the success of the Chibougamau Hemodialysis Clinic. Working closely with our health care network partners to provide better, and more seamless care for our patients is central to the MUHC mission. So, while we are sorry to see those eight patients leave the MUHC for their weekly treatments, we are very happy that they can now return to live among their friends and families, and benefit from the medical care they need close to home. Those patients, however, do remain the responsibility of the MUHC in that they will return to the MGH for annual visits, and our nurses will go regularly to Chibougamau to check up on their condition."

Providing close-to-home care lies at the heart of the MUHC's patient-centred philosophy. Dialysis patients in particular can benefit from this kind of service because of the demands of their treatment. More than three-thousand Quebecers require hemodialysis - the artificial cleaning of the blood and removal of excess liquids in the body - three times weekly. They develop kidney failure from a variety of diseases, most commonly diabetes. For most, the only alternative is a kidney transplant and the waiting lists are long.

"Statistically speaking, the dialysis population in Canada is increasing at a rate of 8% annually," says MGH Dialysis Nurse Manager, Annick Leboeuf Lorange. " At MUHC adult sites alone, we treat approximately 275 hemodialysis patients a week, and we expect our numbers will increase by at least 8% next year."

Concludes Dr. Vasilevsky, "Satellite dialysis clinics such as the one officially opened today in Chibougamau will go a long way in helping many Quebec patients receive the frequent medical care they require at the right time and most of all, in the right place - that is in their own community, not thousands of kilometres away."

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