Tongan Government Accused Of Dragging Feet On Kidney Dialysis Treatment

Tonga Dialysis Foundation waiting for approval to provide service not currently available on island

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 16, 2017) – A group aiming to provide dialysis for kidney disease sufferers in Tonga says its being held back by Government inaction.

Dialysis treatment is currently unavailable in the country despite around 200 people being diagnosed with chronic kidney failure each year, and about a third of those needing such treatment.

In the past the government said it did not have the budget to help patients as a dialysis machine costs up to US$2.3 million.

But Tonga Dialysis Foundation President Siosaia Moehau said they submitted a proposal to the government over a year ago to partner with a Fiji company to open a dialysis clinic in the country but they had not heard back.

"I think it's all about an attitude problem. We already demonstrated to them that we can do the whole thing ourselves, with our donors and our partners."

"It seems that they are still restricted to some sort of thing, which we don't understand," he said.

Siosaia Moehau said there are hundreds of people waiting for the dialysis treatment they're proposing.

He said it would take two to three months from getting government approval to be able to provide the service.

Radio New Zealand International
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