Phuket

Wichit to open first ‘community dialysis center’ in Phuket

PHUKET: The first kidney dialysis center in Phuket to be run by a local administrative body is 80 per cent complete, the Mayor of Wichit has announced.

Work on the five-million-baht Wichit Kidney Dialysis Center, located at the Laem Son Public Health Center on Pattana Thongthin Road, began about five months ago, he said.

The center will offer dialysis for 500 baht per treatment session for qualified patients, far less than the usual price of about 2,800 baht for treatments elsewhere on the island, said Mayor Kreetar Saetan.

“This is an especially good project for the people of Wichit. It will help them save money and reduce the burden of being diabetic,” he said.

Anudach Prawat, an administrative officer with the Wichit Municipality Public Health Section, said the center would be ready to provide services by the end of July, as planned.

However, the number of dialysis machines that will be available there had yet to be confirmed, he said.

Those interested in using the service can register now at the Wichit Municipality’s Public Health Section. Thus far, 77 people have registered.

Office hours are 8:30am to 4pm daily, except Sundays.

“We will have medical staff from Vachira Phuket Hospital, but we have yet to confirm the days and times that services will be available,” Mr Anudach said.

Residents of Wichit will be given first priority in allocating appointments, while the medical staff will determine how the remainder will be allotted, he said.

People with standard government medical insurance or with benefits provided under the government social security scheme for workers will qualify for the 500-baht treatments. All others will be charged 1,500 to 2,000 baht per treatment.

Treatment at the center will be available to both Thais and foreigners.

Dialysis, a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood, provides an artificial replacement for people with kidney failure.

There are currently 26 dialysis machines in government hospitals in Phuket: 12 at Vachira Phuket Hospital and 14 more at the newly-opened Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) Hospital.

Some privately-run facilities on the island also offer dialysis, many offering “dialysis holiday” packages to foreign tourists.

— Chutharat Plerin

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