ANZSN statement of support of Kidney Health NZ

Posted June 29, 2023

Professor David Johnson President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology stated that ‘ANZSN strongly supports KHNZ’s call for the New Zealand Government to not only urgently address the haemodialysis capacity crisis, but also long term planning and implementation of adequate resourcing to provide optimal kidney health for all people’.

The evolving haemodialysis capacity and staffing crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand resulting in inequitable and impeded access to this life-sustaining treatment is extremely concerning. Unless swift corrective and preventative action is taken, there is a high risk of serious clinical incidents and loss of life, which will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of the community, particularly those living in rural and remote locations. Staffing shortages culminating in high clinical workloads will also lead to staff burnout, mental health issues and further loss of staff.

The ANZSN is committed to a vision of optimal kidney health for all people and believes that equitable access to health care, including dialysis, is a fundamental human right. There is an exigent need for developing solutions to this worsening crisis through strategic planning (both immediate and longer term), appropriate health financing, augmenting health workforce, supporting staff, improving access to dialysis guided by better information on kidney failure “hot spots,’ recognising kidney disease as a national priority, and developing policies for early detection and management of kidney disease which form part of an integrated chronic disease strategy.

The ANZSN believes equity of health care is a fundamental human right and has published a position statement on Equity in Kidney Care in partnership with Kidney Health New Zealand, Renal Society of Australasia and Kidney Health Australia.