Kidney disease risks overwhelming NHS without increased funding, warns charity

A public health emergency may arise due to kidney disease without increased government funding, warns Kidney Research UK. The charity’s recent report reveals that the illness already costs the UK economy £7bn annually, a figure that could increase to £13.9bn over the next ten years if no action is taken. These costs include both the direct treatment expenses for the NHS and the financial losses incurred by those unable to work due to the disease.

The primary factor influencing the rise in costs is the growing demand for dialysis, an essential treatment for kidney failure patients. Over seven million people in the UK are living with chronic kidney disease, and this number could increase, with individuals suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity being most at risk. Kidney Research UK is urging the government to invest £50m per year in kidney disease research, significantly higher than the £17.7m provided in 2021-22.

The increased funding could be allocated towards the development of improved prevention strategies, treatment options, and earlier diagnosis. Sandra Currie, Chief Executive of Kidney Research UK, stated that without this funding, the NHS “risks being overwhelmed with demand.”

Currie added, “There is no cure for kidney disease, a transplant does not last a lifetime and dialysis patients face hours of gruelling treatment every week, taking them away from loved ones and making it harder to work.” She further emphasized the need for better prevention strategies, earlier diagnosis, and improved treatment options, noting that kidney disease is not currently included in NHS long-term strategic plans.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care affirmed the government’s commitment to enhancing services for patients living with kidney disease. They also mentioned that the National Institute for Health and Care Research funds research into kidney disease, among other health aspects.

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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