Tonga Dialysis Foundation says Govt delaying treatment

A group aiming to provide dialysis for kidney disease sufferers in Tonga say they are being held back by Government inaction.

Dialysis treatment is currently unavailable in the country despite around 200 people being diagnosed with chronic kidney failure each year, and about a third of those needing such treatment.

RNZ reports in the past the government had said it does not have the budget to help patients as a dialysis machine costs up to US$2.3 million.

But Tonga Dialysis Foundation President Siosaia Moehau said they submitted a proposal to government over a year ago to partner with a Fiji company to open a dialysis clinic in the country but they have not heard back.

"I think it's all about an attitude problem. We already demonstrated to them that we can do the whole thing ourselves, with our donors and our partners."

"It seems that they are still restricted to some sort of thing, which we don't understand," he said.

Siosaia Moehau said there are hundreds of people waiting for the dialysis treatment they're proposing.

He said it would take two to three months from getting government approval to be able to provide the service.