12 Sep 2011

Cook Islands may install own dialysis treatment

1:53 pm on 12 September 2011

The Cook Islands government is this week expected to consider introducing dialysis treatment.

In July the Cook Islands Ministry of Health looked into the possibility of investing in dialysis machinery to treat patients living with impaired kidney function, rather than sending them to Auckland for treatment.

There are about five Cook Islanders presently receiving dialysis in New Zealand.

A consultant, Carla Wilson, with support from the New Zealand aid programme, has been in the Cooks to prepare a report, which cabinet is about to consider.

She says the Cook Islands is uniquely placed among its Pacific neighbours because of its relationship with New Zealand.

Other Pacific countries like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga face similar problems to the Cook Islands in weighing up the price of sending its residents away for dialysis treatment against the costs of having the expensive equipment operating locally.