Patient calls for more dialysis services in Yukon

A Yukoner with kidney disease says the territory's health department needs to upgrade its dialysis service.

Yukoners forced to move to receive treatment


A Yukoner with kidney disease is concerned about a lack of health services in the territory for assisted dialysis treatment.

Michael Gladish has been living with kidney disease for 12 years and started using dialysis about five months ago.

"The fear that you have, the emotional roller coaster that you're on, y'know, why does it happen to me," Gladish said.

Each night he hooks himself up to a machine to clean his blood. If anything goes wrong, there's no specialized doctors in the Yukon who can help.

"If the Northwest Territories and other jurisdictions can find the resources to set up dialysis clinics, I think it's something the Yukon government health services has to consider," Gladish said.

There are dialysis services in three N.W.T. communities.

Kidney specialist, Dr. Paul Taylor, travels to the Yukon four times a year. He said some patients have to move out of the territory to receive treatment.

"If you are a more dependent patient who’s on assisted hemodialysis, there's no facility that does that for you in the whole of the Yukon right now," Taylor said.

He said it would be costly to set up a clinic in the territory.

Officials with Yukon Health and Social Services were not available for comment.

The number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has tripled in the last 20 years. There are more cases of the disease among First Nations people and seniors.