Dialysis patient Ed Orrego with nurse unit manager, Warren Sydenham, and renal physician, Dr Azeem Abdul-Razak.
Dialysis patient Ed Orrego with nurse unit manager, Warren Sydenham, and renal physician, Dr Azeem Abdul-Razak. Trevor Veale

Coffs renal care on par with Sydney

NINETEEN years ago when Warren Sydenham began working with renal services in Coffs Harbour, the unit was based in a small mobile building with one chair and a specialist who flew in fortnightly.

Now there is a custom-built unit with nine chairs and 15 close-knit staff, caring for 36 patients and since 2004, a full-time renal physician, Dr Azeem Abdul-Razak.

“In the early days we raised funds from the local Rotary and Lions clubs and raffles,” Mr Sydenham said.

“What we have now is on a par or even better than services in Sydney. It’s taken a long time but working together with administration we’ve slowly got there.”

And the results speak for themselves: on average 70 per cent of the unit’s

patients live for more than five years. Fifty per cent is the average for most other hospitals.

Dr Abdul-Razak said having a small unit made all the difference.

“We know our patients well and we can fix problems quickly,” he said.



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