Nova Scotia

Windsor dialysis won't be offered, says Capital Health

Money is being raised in Windsor to buy two dialysis machines, though Capital Health says even with new machines, it's not a service that will be offered there.

Closest dialysis services for Windsor are in Berwick and Halifax

The community of Windsor is raising money to buy two dialysis machines, though Capital Health says even with new machines, it’s not a service that will be offered there.

The community has launched a big campaign to raise funds to buy two kidney dialysis machines for the West Hants Hospital.

Capital Health has written dialysis patients to inform them that even if the hospital foundation buys machines, the health care system has no plans to set up a dialysis unit in Windsor.

It said there would be no dialysis in Windsor because there's no money for staff, supplies and construction from the provincial government.

Currently, people in Hants County have to travel to Halifax or Berwick for treatment.

From Windsor to Berwick, it's about 60 kilometres. From Windsor to Halifax, it's about 65 kilometres.

It's all making for an emotional and heated response from Windsor dialysis patients.

"I wondered why I was getting depressed and then I knew what it was, it was the phone calls I was getting from people," said Hants West warden Richard Dauphinee, who chairs the hospital foundation.

"There’s some pretty hard luck stories there," he said.

Sad stories

He said he hears stories of lost jobs, lost homes and three days each week on the road for treatment.

Dauphinee said he’s even heard stories of people choosing no treatment rather than ask for drives and assistance.

He said he has learned there are at least 38 people in the Windsor area who face economic and personal difficulty because they can not get treatment locally.

Dave Hunter has a friend who has kidney disease.

When Hunter found out, he worked to help create a fundraising walk to buy dialysis machines. He said now people in the street are offering him money.

"She said ‘here, I want to give you this’ and it was a cheque for $100," Hunter said of one stranger he met.

Dauphinee said he met with the CEO of Capital Health Chris Power.

"She told me it wouldn’t happen there, wouldn’t be a unit in the Windsor hospital," Dauphinee said.

Dauphinee said the community is still committed and the fundraising walk will be on Saturday.

"People that are on dialysis are crying, actually crying on the phone," Dauphinee said.

"It’s heart-wrenching."