Recognising that for more than 15 years APY Lands communities and support organisations have been campaigning to have access to community-based renal dialysis on the APY Lands, the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker Project of Uniting Communities is very excited to hear that SA Health is now supporting the establishment of a permanent dialysis facility in Ernabella/Pukatja Community on the Lands.

Having stalled for over a year on responding to a pledge of $1.7 million capital funding from the Federal Government and a subsequent business case provided by Western Desert Dialysis to provide dialysis services in Ernabella, the Minister for Health, the Hon Jack Snelling MP, yesterday announced that SA Health is supportive of the establishment of a permanent renal dialysis facility in Ernabella/Pukatja, and indicated that SA Health will enter into an MOU with Western Desert Dialysis and the Nganampa Health Council.

Sue Tilley of the Anangu Lands Paper Tracker says, ‘Minister Snelling’s announcement is very welcome and exciting news, and we have no doubt that Anangu who have been forced to live away from their families and communities in order to access dialysis will be very encouraged by this change of heart on the part of SA Health.

‘At a time like this, we cannot forget the many people who have had to live far away from their families and communities in order to access dialysis services. It is with sadness that we remember those who have passed away and for whom this offer of dialysis on their own country is now too late.

‘The Paper Tracker would like to recognise all the community members and their organisations who have struggled for dialysis services over the years, and we would like to acknowledge the collaborative support of the NPY Women’s Council and the incredible work of Western Desert Dialysis, and their refusal to give up on believing that community-based dialysis in Ernabella would be possible.

‘Western Desert Dialysis has an excellent track-record in providing dialysis services in very remote communities and we look forward to this service being available to people on the APY Lands.’

For media comment:
Sue Tilley, Manager of Aboriginal Policy and Advocacy – 0437 320 954