Skip to main content

Kidney Machines

Volume 940: debated on Thursday 1 December 1977

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the capital and running costs of kidney machines at home and in hospital; what estimates are available for the number of people who would benefit from such machines who are unable to obtain them; and what proportion of these people could be helped if there were an additional £30 million per annum available for this purpose.

The cost of a kidney machine is between £3,500 and £4,500, and a further £1,500 is required for associated equipment. The estimated total annual running costs per patient are around £10,000 in hospital and £6,000 at home at 1976 prices. As stated in my reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Lomas) on 26th October—[Vol. 936, c. 725–6]—the need for treatment either by dialysis or transplantation is around 40 new cases per million population each year, and in 1976 15·1 patients per million were accepted for treatment in the United Kingdom.It is estimated that an additional £30 million revenue per annum would enable approximately 40 patients per million to be taken on to the dialysis programme over the next two years, increasing thereafter to a total of over £60 million after five years if the total need were met. These approximate estimates are based on 1976 levels.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of the 48 kidney machines financed by his Department for the treatment of children have been taken up by the regional health authorities; what further steps he is taking to make additional machines available; and what plans he has to make kidney machine provision a direct departmental responsibility.

Seven regional health authorities have indicated that they intend to make a bid for the central funds recently made available to expand the facilities for the treatment of children with chronic renal failure. Of these only two regions have so far submitted detailed proposals, as a result of which it is hoped that six additional machines will shortly be made available. We are exploring various methods of increasing the facilities for treating patients with chronic renal failure but we have no plans to transfer the direct responsibility for either the funding or development of the dialysis services to the Department. These are matters for health authorities to decide in the light of the resources available to them and other competing local priorities.