Doctor. Contributed

Specialist unit takes on serious CQ health issue

OVER 1000 people in Central Queensland access care for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) at Rockhampton Hospital.

That's a big number and CQ Health's Rockhampton-based Renal Services Team is focused on taking a broader look at tackling the serious health issue, identified as particularly bad in the region.

Nephrologists Dr Zaw Thet and Dr Thin Han are part of the team, which includes a nurse practitioner, dietitians, social workers, nurses and educators are hard at work after findings from Kidney Health Australia identified the CQ region as a "hot spot” for adults showing biomedical signs of CKD, stages 1-5.

Working closely with GPs, Dr Zaw Thet said Rockhampton Hospital was working hard to improve access for patients.

"Telehealth is one of the best uses of technology to ensure our patients have access to specialist consultations without having to drive long distances, especially those in remote areas,” Dr Zaw Thet said.

"Destination 2030 (CQ Health's future strategy) aims to provide care closer to home, which is addressed well by the Renal Services Team.”

"We provide dialysis for 115 patients in hospital, in the community and in their homes.”

"We also care for another 900 people with some form of identified renal failure.”

With obesity being one of the contributing factors to CKD, another of the Destination 2030 strategy goals is to create a healthier community, addressing obesity and lifestyle factors contributing to diabetes.

Dr Thaw Zet recommends people take charge of their kidney health through their GP, especially if they have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney disease or any sign of kidney function impairment.

"It's important not to wait until symptoms develop,” Dr Zaw Thet said.

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