Town hall meeting to discuss local dialysis issue, Feb. 9

By Michael Christianson

On Thursday, Feb. 9 MPP Sarah Campbell will be joined by special guests from the Northwest Ontario Renal Network, the Northwest LHIN and the Dryden Regional Health Centre as they present a town hall to discuss dialysis needs in the Dryden area.

This is a great opportunity to share your experiences and solutions pertaining to the dialysis needs in the Dryden area as well as to receive information from the health care professionals who are involved in the decision-making process.

For some the issue of dialysis in Dryden has been a long battle. Mindy Finlayson-Pynn is living in St. John’s, Newfoundland but grew up in Dryden. As a child she saw her grandfather, who couldn’t drive, having to ask for someone to take him the hour and a half each way to Sioux Lookout. Now her father is doing the same trek.

“My father he’s diabetic as well, the dialysis takes the life out of him, sometimes he’d be passing out because his muscles needed to recuperate, I guess where they take water off of him it would be hard for his body to digest sugars after with no water so he was incapable of driving himself home after because he’d be passing out at the wheel so he now has to depend on someone to drive him,” said Finlayson-Pynn. “With the weather and everything he’s worried that he’s not going to make it up there and if he doesn’t then he’s sluggish if he misses one of his days and has to skip a day.”

She added that her father usually only has one day before he has to turn around and go back again but often doesn’t feel strong enough to do anything on his free day.

The other issue affecting Ontario residence is when they may need to go to Winnipeg for surgeries; OHIP doesn’t cover dialysis outside of the province so those who have surgery in Winnipeg often have to drive all the way back to Sioux Lookout for dialysis, after having already gone through a substantial medical procedure.

The town hall meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express.

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