​May 26 2016

Australians living with kidney failure will be able to take holidays in NSW without missing life-saving dialysis treatment, following a partnership between NSW Health and Kidney Health Australia.

In a first for NSW, the Big Red Kidney Bus will deliver dialysis treatment to patients as it travels to popular holiday spots across the state.


​Health Minister Jillian Skinner today visited the Big Red Kidney Bus at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH), which will provide specialist renal nurses and technicians to support the service.

"Living with kidney disease is tough and dialysis treatment is demanding and restrictive," Mrs Skinner said.

"We hope this service will provide some freedom for dialysis patients who are travelling and can't access their regular location for treatment."

RNSH Head of Renal Medicine Dr Bruce Cooper said as many as 1.7 million Australians live with signs of chronic kidney disease but only 10 per cent realise it.

"People at risk of kidney disease should have a kidney health check every two years. That's as simple as seeing your GP and having a blood test, urine test and a blood pressure check," Dr Cooper said.

"With more than 10,000 Australians living on haemodialysis, the Big Red Kidney Bus is a fantastic service for those travelling in NSW."

In addition to RNSH's expert renal nurse and technicians, Kidney Health Australia will work with the NSW bus industry to source a bus, and will fund a full refurbishment into a state-of-the art dialysis unit, fitted out with three dialysis chairs to allow up to 36 dialysis sessions per week to be delivered. Kidney Health Australia will also market the program, manage the booking system, and employ a driver.

The Big Red Kidney Bus will complement the state-wide service currently delivered through RNSH's Sydney Dialysis Centre, which provides home haemodialysis equipment across NSW.

Kidney Health Australia will survey NSW dialysis patients to identify popular holiday destinations for the bus to visit each year, each for a period of around six weeks, and it is hoped the bus will be on the road by the end of 2016.