Warning over local kidney transplants

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The Bermuda Health Council has spoken out against on-island kidney transplants due to safety and cost concerns.

In a statement, the BHC said that it does not support proposed live donor kidney transplant on the island “at this time”.

Tawanna Wedderburn, BHC CEO, said: “For the 165 patients receiving dialysis treatment and 971 patients with chronic kidney disease, we can never compromise on delivering safe quality cost-effective care.

“Doing live donor kidney transplantation on the island at this time is too risky.

“In the meantime, more effort should be placed on preventing chronic kidney disease, and ensuring better coordination when transplants are appropriate.”

Ms Wedderburn said that kidney transplants are the best option for patients with kidney failure, and that the BHC will continue to support kidney transplantation.

“This is why on June 1, 2017, we facilitated an increase in insurance coverage for kidney transplants from $30,000 to $100,000,” she said.

“Anti-rejection drugs associated with the transplant are fully covered. If you have chronic kidney disease or are on dialysis, talk to your doctor as soon as possible about the options, as we work together to envision Bermuda as the healthiest in the world.”

The BHC said it consulted with local nephrologists before issuing it’s guidance, who said patients are better served at a facility “specialised to provide that service”.

The Ministry of Health announced in May that it was looking into the possibility of on-island transplants.

At that time, a Ministry spokeswoman said: “The ministry and other stakeholders have had discussions with a Norwegian group’s Global Transplant Initiative, seeking to do kidney transplants locally.

“The GTI team presented a proposal that they believe to be viable. It is being considered to determine if it would be viable and safe to do this complex procedure locally, and if it is financially viable.”

The full guidance document from the BHC can be accessed on the council’s website, www.bhec.bm.

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Published Nov 20, 2017 at 10:24 am (Updated Nov 20, 2017 at 10:24 am)

Warning over local kidney transplants

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