The new unit will be able to treat 54 dialysis patients a week. (CBC)

A new dialysis centre in Summerside will dramatically increase the number of patients who can receive treatment.

The centre opened Friday at the Prince County Hospital.

The site has the ability to treat up to 54 patients a week. That's more than double the capacity of the previous Summerside location.

Health Minister Doug Currie says demand for dialysis is rising dramatically.

"In the last few years we've seen approximately about a 75 per cent increase in the demand here in the province of Prince Edward Island. So government has responded and this site today is an example of our commitment to haemodialysis treatment," he said.

This is the first of two new dialysis sites in the province.

Another is expected to open at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown this summer.