The Dialysis Crisis

The Dialysis Crisis

For the past year ARxC has been fighting to find long-term care for 33 uninsured End-Stage-Renal patients of Grady Memorial Hospital (see ARxC “A Crisis of Care” timeline). Despite our volunteer efforts, the patient’s life-sustaining dialysis treatment is currently scheduled to be cut on August 31, 2010 at which time the patients will be forced to face the certainty of death.

Beginning in August of 2009, Grady Memorial Hospital closed its outpatient dialysis clinic. At this time uninsured foreign patients were not provided with an alternative dialysis provider. The Advocates for Responsible Care was then established to advocate on behalf of the patients’ right to receive continuous treatment. Our action was especially pertinent given that the patients are dependent upon dialysis treatment three times a week for their survival.

Thanks to the volunteer legal services provided by Lindsay Jones and the tremendous support from the press, Grady contracted with a private company, Fresenius, to provide dialysis treatment at their local centers. Multiple times Grady attempted to prematurely terminate their contract with Fresenius, but, thanks to the steadfast efforts of ARxC, Grady eventually allowed the contract to fulfill its year-long duration.

The Fresenius contract ends August 31, 2010 and our next court date is not until September. Grady has sent out letters to the patients notifying them that treatments at Fresenius will end on August 31, 2010 and Fresenius personnel have confirmed this to be the case. 

We appeal to our elected officials to help these deserving people. To date all our legislators and elected officials have ignored our plight. DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson has, however, attempted to meet with all of the concerned parties to find a viable solution. We remain hopeful that these negotiations are making progress in finding alternative long-term care for the patients. While none of the private companies or existing hospitals have directly offered to donate supplies or medical services to provide dialysis treatment for our patients, we do have the support and efforts of Oakhurst Medical Centers director Jeffrey Taylor in helping us derive a solution.

We believe that this is a crisis of honoring human life. This is the reason why we have appealed to the Human Rights Commission to help us find sustainable dialysis for these patients (see our “A Crisis for Care” timeline).

We also encourage you to join our facebook group,  Advocates for Responsible Care - Health Rights, where you can read the patient’s stories and remain updated on the status of our situation. 

Please post your comments on the Contact Us page. We welcome your input on this issue as we have yet to find a solution that ensures all 30 patients will receive long-term dialysis treatment after the August 31, 2010 deadline.

Browse this website and visit www.advocatesforresponsiblecare.org for more information. We are also on Facebook.

Thank you for your solidarity.

 The Crisis of the Grady Hospital Dialysis Clinic Closing

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