A new renal (kidney) care center is coming to Steinbach.
The announcement came in last week’s Provincial Throne Speech and was applauded as “life changing” by those in our community who suffer from chronic kidney disease.
Tens of thousands of Canadians have chronic kidney disease and require dialysis treatments several times a week.
Residents of the southeast are currently forced to travel to Winnipeg multiple times a week to receive care. Needless to say, the physical, emotional and financial toll on patients, families and caregivers adds up quickly.
Over the past few years I have had a number of constituents communicate with my office advocating for a renal care/hemodialysis clinic in the southeast.
While healthcare falls under the jurisdiction of the Manitoba Provincial Government, I am regularly in touch with my provincial counterparts, passing along the thoughts and needs of my constituents.
Steinbach is the only city in Manitoba that does not have a renal health clinic or unit.
True, Steinbach is close to Winnipeg, but Selkirk is closer, and they have a hemodialysis clinic. There are also hemodialysis clinics in Morden/Winkler, Brandon, Portage, Hodgson, Ashern, Berens River, Dauphin, Pine Falls, Russell, Swan Valley, The Pas, Flin Flon, Thompson and Norway House, but there is no access to renal health services anywhere in the southeast.
I have written to Provincial Health Ministers, advocating on behalf of Provencher residents who suffer from chronic kidney disease.
Steinbach is the third largest and one of the fastest growing cities in Manitoba. While Steinbach, itself, has a population of approximately 16,000 people it serves a surrounding population of roughly 55,000 people.
The towns of Niverville and Ste. Anne—both served by Steinbach—are the fastest growing communities in Manitoba.
In short, a kidney care center in Steinbach just makes sense.
This is a big win for our communities across the southeast, and I am thankful to the advocates who worked tirelessly to make this possible.
In the midst of ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19, this is also a good reminder that we not lose sight of the many other (often dire) health needs of Canadians.
Access to quality healthcare is good for all of us. I know we all welcome this great news for the southeast!