Not all Nova Scotians who need dialysis will have to travel to a hospital for treatments. Beginning July 1, a new provincial program will offer continuing-care clients with renal failure the option to have dialysis treatments in their homes and at designated long-term-care facilities. “Today, many dialysis patients must travel to the hospital, three times a week, to receive hemodialysis treatments on someone else’s schedule,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “This new option gives some the freedom that comes with getting the treatment they need in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.” Peritoneal dialysis is a well-established alternative to traditional hemodialysis. In hemodialysis, blood is passed through an artificial-kidney machine to be cleaned. Peritoneal dialysis uses a similar filtration process, but the blood is cleaned inside the body rather than in a machine. This form of dialysis can be performed in the home or in the community, reducing the need for patients to travel, or relocate, to be closer to hospitals. Less invasive and less expensive, peritoneal dialysis is, in many cases, better suited to elderly and disabled patients. It improves blood-pressure control, preserves remaining kidney function and expands dietary options. Combined with the fact that patients do not need to leave home for treatment, peritoneal dialysis often improves overall quality of life. There are about 95 peritoneal dialysis patients in the province; 10 per cent of those patients are continuing-care clients. Based on health and population trends, it is expected demand for dialysis-treatment options will increase. Peritoneal dialysis will be available to continuing-care clients with renal failure through home-care service providers. It will also be available in one long-term-care home in each health district across the province. The new peritoneal dialysis program makes services already available in some areas of the province available to eligible continuing-care clients across Nova Scotia. Continuing-care clients who require dialysis can call 1-800-225-7225 (out of province 1-902-424-4288), any day of the week between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for more information on peritoneal dialysis services. The Continuing Care Strategy is a 10-year plan to enhance and expand Nova Scotia’s continuing-care system. By building on community support, increasing local solutions and ensuring care options are available when and where they are needed, the strategy aims to create a system that supports Nova Scotians in their desire to live well in a place they can call home. A peritoneal dialysis patient is available for interview upon request. For more information see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/health/ccs/ccs_strategy .