Southwest Slopes Dialysis Service Committee

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The Goal of this Committee, is to establish Dialysis Services at the Tumut Hospital.

Flower pictureTumut is the central hub of the South West Slopes which covers towns such as Brungle, Adelong, Talbingo, Batlow and the Shires of Gundagai & Tumbarumba.

The nearest City for a Dialysis unit is Wagga Wagga over 100 klms away, about 1 ½ hours drive, or failing that it is over 230 klms, or a 2 ½ hour drive to Canberra!!!

As we are just starting out as a Committee on this long winding road of bureaucracy then any help you can provide us with will undoubtedly save us many hours of frustration.

If you can help us in any way, please contact:

A. Manning - Chairperson:
South West Slopes Dialysis Service Committee - Tumut NSW
Phone:02 6947 9169 or by E-mail:

 email to Chairperson

Please read the following report. (emphasis added)


Hansard extract, NSW Legislative Assembly, 22 November 2006, page 78 (article 41). Page: 4680

Mr DARYL MAGUIRE (Wagga Wagga) [6.00 p.m.]: Recently I spoke in this place about Mr and Mrs Southwood, who were required to travel to Canberra every second day to access renal dialysis services for Mrs Southwood. Up to eight people were waiting on the dialysis list for Wagga Wagga but there were not enough places or funding to enable them to be treated locally. After a long and hard-fought, and bitter, battle we gained funding for Wagga Wagga to expand the number of chairs for renal dialysis.

One in every two diabetes patients who visit a general practitioner suffers from chronic kidney disease. Over the past 25 years the number of Australians being treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant has grown by more than 400 per cent.
The number of kidney-failure patients entering dialysis or transplant programs increased at an average of 5.5 per cent per year over the past 10 years. It is projected to grow by some 6 per cent. The cost of chronic kidney disease in Australia is forecast to skyrocket from $1.8 billion in 2006 to $4.7 billion in 2010. The epidemic of diabetes combined with an ageing population is creating greater numbers of people with kidney failure. More than one-quarter of all patients coming to dialysis and transplantation do not see a kidney specialist until 90 days before dialysis starts. This late referral is shown to be associated with an increased mortality of 7 per cent per year compared with those referred appropriately.

As I said, I previously raised this issue about Wagga Wagga, which services the Riverina and the South West Slopes. Tonight I want to raise honourable members' awareness of the need to now extend the service to Tumut, Batlow, Adelong and Brungle. On recent visits to that area I have been made aware of the critical need for up to six patients to access renal dialysis services. I am informed that ambulances are transporting those patients to Wagga Wagga on a two-day rotational basis or they are being required to travel to Canberra to access specialist care. A satellite service needs to be established. I understand the cost per chair is approximately $25,000. Consumables cost about $45 a treatment, and staff would need some training to be able to administer dialysis in Tumut Base Hospital. I understand that costs are recurrent but that NSW Health has a renal services enhancement funding program.

By making this statement I want to draw the attention of the Minister to the desperate need of the Tumut, Adelong, Batlow and Brungle communities to access dialysis.
I met with a number of people who have been very proactive in forming their own group, called the
South West Slopes Dialysis Services Committee.
Along with the community that group is campaigning hard to establish important renal dialysis services for the Tumut area. On 7 April 2005 the Premier quoted the following funding figures in Hansard:

  • $163,000 for Kempsey;
  • $600,000 for a four-chair facility at Moruya;
  • $700,000 for Armidale;
  • $1 million for Tweed Valley;
  • $434,000 for a six-chair service at Griffith;
  • $273,000 for a four-chair satellite service at Bathurst;
  • and expansion of the Dubbo facility from six chairs to 10 chairs.

Tumut does not have a facility,
and the enormous cost and inconvenience of people having to travel to access these services
is having a detrimental effect on their health.

When a patient is diagnosed as having to self-dialyse, they have to travel to Sydney to be taught how. I submit to the House and to NSW Health that that service needs to be delivered in Wagga Wagga so that rural people can come to Wagga Wagga and be taught how to self-dialyse, in order to negate their having to travel to Sydney and be away from their family for weeks on end. They would also avoid the gruelling trips to Sydney to access services. We are geographically isolated, and that is why I am passionately imploring the Minister for Health to ensure that these services are extended to the people of the Tumut region.

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We, the Committee, would ideally like this satellite service to be housed
in the Tumut Hospital, with Nursing Support!

3 Questions:

  1. Why "ideally"?
  2. Why "Tumut Hospital"?
  3. Why "Nursing support"?

Why "Ideally?" Grab one of those 'scribe' things, that has a point on one side, and a pencil on the other.
Put the point on Wagga Wagga and 'scribe' an Arc of 3600 from Wagga Wagga of say 70 klms. Now do the same for Tumut!
You will notice that Wagga Wagga has chairs available to cater for the people in their area.

We don't, and the further from Wagga Wagga (north-east) you go, the longer it takes for people to transport and be transported, to access that service.

Our area encompasses the towns of Tumut, Adelong, Batlow, Talbingo, Brungle and the Shires of Gundagai and Tumbarumba, with a combined population of nearly 20,000 people. We also cover an area of over 10,597.31 sq klms -
yet nearly ALL the towns, villages and Shires within our area, are from 20 - 45 mins away from Tumut!

Why Tumut Hospital? Well we are the largest Hospital in the center of that hub, the most up to date and we have very well trained and qualified staff on hand.

Why nursing support? The people needed to administer the treatment, need to be qualified in their field/s. The support of nursing staff is critical in the event of complications and their experience in all aspects of nursing care is invaluable.

Apart from any other considerations, the cost factor alone makes this marriage of convienience worthwhile. By having it at the Tumut Hospital we will have access to trained and qualified staff. This opens up positions to be filled by employing more nurses from some of the money saved in Government repayments and rebates, for travelling costs, accommodation costs, carers etc.

A breakdown of funds allocated according to population, from the "Hansard" report above!

  • Kempsey - Has a population of approx 28,000 - $5.82 per person!
  • Moruya - Has a population of approx 35,000 - $17.14 per person!
  • Armidale - Has a population of approx 20,000 - $35.00 per person!
  • Tweed valley - Has a population of approx 83,222 - $12.01 per person!
  • Griffith - Has a population of approx 24,604 - $17.63 per person!
  • Bathurst - Has a population of approx 30,663 - $8.90 per person!
  • Tumut, Tumbarumba, Gundagai & Districts - Has a population of approx 20,000 - $?.?? per person!

What price would you put on yours or a family members
health and peace of mind?

It is only with your help, that we can bring this Service to Tumut.

Thank you.

Southwest Slopes Dialysis Service Committee

If you can help us in any way, please contact:

A. Manning - Chairperson:
South West Slopes Dialysis Service Committee - Tumut NSW
Phone:02 6947 9169 or by E-mail:

 Chairperson - SWS Dialysis Committee.

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(Update 12-02-2015)

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