Nova Scotia

Kentville hospital getting 12-station dialysis unit

A six-station dialysis unit in Berwick, N.S., will close once the new, larger one opens in Kentville.

A six-station dialysis unit in Berwick, N.S., will close once the new, larger one opens in Kentville

Construction on the new 12-bed dialysis unit at Valley Regional Hospital is set to being in fall 2017. (CBC News)

The Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville, N.S., is getting a $9.1 million, 12-station dialysis unit.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced the funding Friday at the hospital.

"This announcement is really speaking to the need of our patient and speaking to the need of their families," McNeil told a news conference.

Premier Stephen McNeil said the new dialysis unit attached to the hospital will allow for more complex cases to be treated in the Valley. (CBC News)

Close to home for New Minas patients

Mabel Schofield of New Minas welcomed the news that dialysis treatment will be available closer to home.

"I can take a taxi up here without worrying about the money," she said. "Like point-to-point probably cost me about eight dollars."

Schofield drives herself to Berwick three times week for dialysis treatment. 

"I feel great, without dialysis I wouldn't be alive," she said. "My husband's had a stroke so he can't drive me anymore."

Another New Minas resident, Mac Benjamin, also travels to Berwick three times a week for dialysis.

Due to a stroke a few weeks ago, Benjamin cannot drive so he relies on his wife, Muriel, has to drive him.

Muriel Benjamin drives her husband, Mac, from New Minas to Berwick for dialysis treatment three times a week. (CBC News)

"We leave around 10 o'clock and we don't get back 'til 5, so it's a long stay," Muriel Benjamin said.

The couple lives only 10 minutes away from the Valley Regional Hospital.

"It means a great deal, especially at our age," Mac Benjamin said.   

Construction begins this fall

Other Valley residents, who can't get their full treatments in Berwick, have to drive to Halifax for dialysis

"We need the 12 beds," Schofield said.

Construction will begin in the fall. 

Two dozen Valley patients receive dialysis treatment in Berwick. The new unit in Kentville could eventually see up to 48 patients.

The six-bed dialysis unit in Berwick will close once the new one opens in Kentville.

Having the new dialysis unit attached to the hospital will allow for some of the more complex cases to be treated in the Valley, Premier McNeil told reporters.