Glace Bay area residents who need dialysis are a step closer to receiving treatment in their own community. The province announced today, April 5, it will begin site and design work to support a six-station satellite dialysis unit at the Glace Bay Hospital. The new unit will reduce pressure at Cape Breton Regional Hospital’s dialysis unit in Sydney, cut down on travel time for many patients, and accommodate the increasing number of patients requiring this life-saving treatment. “When you consider the aging population and the demand for this treatment, it makes sense to proceed with a renal dialysis unit in Glace Bay,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “It is important to these patients that they can get the life-saving care they need closer to their own community.” The new dialysis unit will complement existing services in Cape Breton, including satellite dialysis units in North Sydney, Inverness, and the Strait Richmond Hospital near Port Hawkesbury. There are 190 people on dialysis in Cape Breton. Twenty-six patients from Glace Bay are expected to use the new unit. “We have been fortunate to have satellite units established in other Cape Breton communities, and the plan for a dialysis unit for Glace Bay is welcomed,” says Dr. Tom Hewlett, nephrology division chief with Nova Scotia Health Authority’s eastern zone. “Our staff and patients appreciate the recognition that there is a need to enhance access to this care.” Part of the project will be funded through a $1.7 million bequest from the estate of the late Thomas Peach of Glace Bay. He left the money with the intent of helping establish dialysis services in the community. A request for proposals for design will be issued this spring. The design phase is expected to take about eight months. In January, the province announced the construction of a new 12-station dialysis unit at the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville, and issued a request for design proposals for a new six-station unit at Digby General Hospital.