Minister Schippers opens Bonaire kidney dialysis centre

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) on Friday opened on Bonaire the kidney dialysis centre. This centre is part of the Fundashon Mariadal Hospital in Kralendijk. While using an animation, she also placed the foundation stone of the building of the psychiatric ward of this hospital.

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With a kidney dialysis centre on Bonaire kidney patients of this island are no longer required to go to Curacao to be dialyzed. An own centre for kidney dialysis was also the most important wish of the Executive Council. Bonaire has a small count of twenty kidney dialysis patients who formally had to fly to Curacao three times per week for their treatment. During dialysis the functions of the kidney are taken over by a machine with an artificial kidney.

Since last year Fundashon Mariadal on Bonaire has a form of cooperation with the Vrije Universiteit (VU and Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC) in Amsterdam. A nephrologist (a doctor specialized in kidney disorders) experienced in dialysis from Amsterdam is stationed in Kralendijk. The collaboration between Fundashon Mariadal and VU and AMC otherwise regards more medical specialism. So there were already working a pediatrician, gynecologist, anesteologist, internist and a clinical obstetrician (midwife) from Amsterdam.

Fundashon Mariadal is a broader care facility more than just a hospital. For example, there is also a nursing home and home care is provided. It is the intention this coming year to also expand and improve the psychiatric care. In that context a psychiatrist was also sent to Bonaire. Minister Schippers today laid the first stone of the psychiatric department of Fundashon Mariadal.

Mainly the care and treatment of drug addicts requires special attention in the Dutch Caribbean. Schippers wants a structural and integrated approach for this problem through forensic care (justice, prison, youth care), psychiatric care and care for mildly mentally handicapped persons. The building of a psychiatric department at the hospital is part of the approach.

Schippers is this week on a working visit to the Dutch Caribbean. Central is the healthcare on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.