KUALA LUMPUR: Kidney patients especially rural folks are told they can do home dialysis using Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) as an alternative to regular dialysis centre visits.
CAPD is a form of dialysis that uses the natural lining of the patient’s abdomen to filter wastes from the blood.
It involves a tube permanently inserted through the abdomen to allow a fluid called dialysate to be emptied and replaced every day.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the ministry recognised the advantages of CAPD in that it can be done by patients in the comfort of their home.
CAPD affords better life-style choices and this therapy also has some physiological benefits to patients including the retention of residual kidney functions.
"Patients only need to perform CAPD for half an hour each time, for four times a day at home.
"They only need to go to hospital once every two months for check-up, compared to weekly hospital visits," he told the Dewan Rakyat today in reply to a question from Julian Tan Kok Ping (DAP-Stampin).
Tan had raised questions on the lack of dialysis facilities at government hospitals and clinics, and on rising number of dialysis patients especially in rural areas.
Dr Hilmi said patients can be trained to do it themselves with adherence to the cleanliness aspect.
This will save them money as hospital visits can cost up to RM200 per treatment.
In the long run, CAPD can bring down the annual treatment bill to RM25,000 per patient, compared to RM40,000 for treatment in the dialysis centres.
Nevertheless, the government would continue to create more dialysis centres throughout the country to accommodate the rising number of kidney patients, said Dr Hilmi.
The government had also allocated RM20 million to facilitate the setting up of dialysis centres by the private sector in Malaysia.