April 21, 2017

Dartmouth General Hospital and the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre will each receive six new dialysis chairs as part of the QEII redevelopment project.

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine, announced the expansions today, April 21. The new dialysis chairs will provide 60 more patients with essential treatment closer to their homes.

"Expanding access to dialysis services is a key priority of government and our partners at the Nova Scotia Health Authority," said Ms. Bernard. "We all want these patients to receive the life-saving care they need, and these two expansions will make that care easier to access."

Currently, there are nine dialysis chairs at the Dartmouth General Hospital, 12 at the Halifax Infirmary and 34 in the Dickson Building at the VG site. More than 300 patients receive dialysis treatment in Halifax and Dartmouth.

Patricia Baker Mosher, a retired nurse who recently started treatment at Dartmouth General, is pleased that more Nova Scotians living with kidney disease will be able to access treatment more easily.

"Having dialysis treatment three days a week, four to five hours at a time, is like having a part-time job," said Ms. Baker Mosher. "I schedule my life around my dialysis and this makes it much more convenient, after a long day of treatment, to go right home."

The new chairs will reduce pressure on the existing dialysis units at the QEII and Dartmouth General, and reduce the waitlist for dialysis in Dartmouth. For some patients, it will cut down on travel time.

"The prevalence of kidney disease in our community is increasing, and so is the need for hemodialysis," said Dr. Todd Howlett, chief of medical staff at Dartmouth General Hospital. "The addition of these 12 units will greatly increase the capacity for dialysis in the Halifax and Dartmouth area, and give our patients the chance to receive their treatment closer to 

A request for proposals for design will be issued this summer.

Construction at both hospitals is expected to begin in mid-to-late 2018. The cost will depend on the design and request for proposal process.