Permanent Dialysis Unit Opens in Lac La Biche

The new dialysis unit at the William J. Cadzow – Lac La Biche Healthcare Centre means more patients can receive this life-saving treatment in a comfortable setting closer to home.

Minister Hoffman meets with dialysis patient Harry Johnson in the new permanent dialysis unit at William J. Cadzow – Lac La Biche Healthcare Centre.

The new six-station unit replaces the aging dialysis bus and supports a more comfortable, reliable, spacious setting for   patients and staff. The permanent unit expands patient capacity from 10 to 12. The extra space at each station means family and friends can now accompany patients while they undergo the procedure.

“Since 2012, residents requiring dialysis from the Lac La Biche area had to climb aboard an aging bus parked at the hospital. When I met with residents, they expressed their frustration around care in their community. We listened, and we acted. Now the bus has been replaced with a permanent dialysis unit so Albertans can receive dignified health care in their community. Our government believes Albertans deserve a strong public health care system they can be proud of.”

~Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

“Since we were elected, Lac La Biche County Council has worked to be a voice for rural patients in need of expanded local health care. I’m proud to see our community’s advocacy has led to a permanent dialysis unit, and I’m pleased the government of Alberta has been so responsive to our feedback. Having a dialysis unit means our citizens and neighbours have easy access to life-saving treatment in dignified conditions. This is what having a public health-care system is all about. Lac La Biche County will continue to work with the province to see what other health-care improvements we can bring to our municipality in the future.”

~Omer Moghrabi, mayor of Lac La Biche County

With kidney disease on the rise, the new and larger unit will meet demand now and in the future. It will serve Albertans from Smoky Lake and Vilna to Wandering River and Athabasca.

“Beaver Lake Cree Nation is pleased to have this new dialysis unit in the region to not only serve our members, but also the surrounding communities. Beaver Lake Cree Nation would like to highlight the steadfast commitment of Jerome and Beverley Anderson in advocating for and highlighting the need for a permanent dialysis unit in Lac La Biche. The new unit will cut down the travel times and stresses associated with receiving care, and also allow family to be present and comfortable. This is a welcome addition to William J. Cadzow Healthcare Centre for all our relations.”

~Chief Germaine Anderson, Beaver Lake Cree Nation

“The new unit we’re celebrating today represents a significant step up in the delivery of dialysis in the Lac La Biche area. With improvements in privacy and comfort for both the health-care team and patients, it provides a much greater space for this lifesaving service.”

~Evan Hendry, former dialysis patient

“Dialysis is a vital treatment that AHS and NARP are committed to providing Albertans. This unit would not be possible without the tremendous efforts of our patients, staff, the Lac La Biche community and the province.”

~Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

Funding for the $2.4-million dialysis unit came from the government of Alberta’s Infrastructure Maintenance Program. With a preliminary estimate of $3 million, the project was completed under budget and on schedule.

With the new unit now operational, the Northern Alberta Renal Program will decommission the dialysis bus.