Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital (DBSH) is now offering dialysis services at a subsidised cost of $12,000 per session.

“We have decided to offer this because there is an increasing need for dialysis in Guyana, and there is an even greater need for dialysis to be done under adequate supervision which is done by our in-house nephrologist,” the hospital said in a press release that was issued yesterday.

It noted that its price per session is on par with that of the not-for-profit Doobay Dialysis Centre and cheaper than all other private centers. The release noted that the regulations of the Health Facilities Licensing Act require that every dialysis centre is supervised directly by a nephrologist and the hospital said it is the only private centre meeting this requirement.

It added that its resident nephrologist, Dr. Justo Tamayo Velazquez, has been in Guyana for over one year and oversees dialysis as well as does routine checks on the hospital’s dialysis patients. Velazquez, a Cuban national, has more than 25 years of experience in nephrology, with several years of teaching experience, the hospital noted, while pointing out that he has served as the President of the Board for the Nephrology specialists in Cuba.

“The incidence of renal failure in Guyana is high because of the extremely high prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Patients need to be educated in the risks of not taking their medications and making lifestyle changes,” Velazquez was quoted as saying in the release. “Early diagnosis and treatment of renal impairment is essential to a good outcome. Prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes is better than dealing with the complications,” he added.

The hospital noted that hemodialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine. Dialysis keeps the fluid and different molecules and ions in your blood in balance when your kidneys cannot carry out this process efficiently. Most dialysis patients undergo sessions about two to three times per week, in order to maintain a good fluid and electrolyte balance, it added, while noting that the dialysis treatment process is not standard and it is often tailored to a patient’s needs in order to maintain fluid levels and other parameters within the desired ranges.

Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital was the first hospital to introduce the service in 2010. “There was only one outpatient dialysis service in Guyana before ours was introduced. Initially it was introduced as part of the inpatient services for critical patients with renal failure, but then expanded to an outpatient service,” the release said. 

The centre, which does 200 to 300 dialysis sessions per month for outpatients, is open from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday to Saturday, while a Sunday clinic is slated to be launched.