Thursday, December 11, 2008

Traveling on Dialysis

Bill Peckham writes in his blog "If you've always wanted to see Toronto, dialysis shouldn't be the thing that stands in your way. It can be done but first payers must understand that travel matters."

This was in response to a comment by Anupama from Bangalore who wanted to go see her (Bill, Anu is a lady, btw) brother in Canada. She was wondering if there was a way she could get dialysis when she traveled to Canada. This is one of the biggest problems dialyzors in India face. That of travel.

Traveling within India is possible. You can get get the standard 4 hour treatments without too much of a hassle. Don't expect nocturnal though. Traveling outside the country can be very difficult. The cost is a major factor. With the exchange rate heavily loaded against India, the cost of a single session of dialysis can be more than ten times as expensive as that in India. Every country has very different protocols on dialysis and the units may have problems adjusting to the protocol you're used to.

By and large however, I would say it is very easy for someone outside India to get dialysis in India. The same is definitely not true for countries like the US and Canada. The costs and the logistics are huge barriers.

Peritoneal dialysis, on the other hand offers much more flexibility where travel is concerned. Travel in India is a breeze. You call your supplier and he will arrange for the PD fluid bags to be delivered in almost all the major cities in India.

Some companies also have this facility when you travel abroad. Given sufficient notice, they will arrange for PD bags in any country where they have a presence. And that too, at the cost at which you get the bags in India. This is really great.

That is why I say, where travel is concerned, there's nothing like PD. I have gone on many trips within India when I was on PD. On Hemo, I would have traveled more if hospitals provided nocturnal. That is too much to ask for. Many nephrologists haven't even heard of nocturnal. They wonder why I dialyse for so long! So, to expect them to provide this modality for someone from out of town is a long shot. So, travel is usually restricted to a very short duration. This is not the case with PD. You can travel for as long as you like. This is a huge plus for PD.

2 comments:

Sachin Kulkarni said...

Hi Kamal, Our case is similar to Anu's. My sister is on PD and wishes to visit the US. It will be a great help if you could let us know the company / contact who can arrange for PD solution in the US at the same price or a little more than that in India.

Kamal D Shah said...

Hi Sachin, Baxter should be able to arrange PD bags in the US at the same rate as you pay in India. This was how it was when I was on PD. Did you check with them?