Parliamentary Question

Minister Representing:Minister for Question No:774
Portfolio:Health Question Date:03/28/2006
Year:2006Answer Date:05/02/2006
Parliament:37Question Type:Question On Notice
Session Number:1Asked By:Dr K.D. Hames
Chamber:AssemblyTabled Paper No:

Question & Answer:

(1) Is it correct that Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd have been awarded the contract to supply dialysis products in Western Australia?

(2) What is the difference in cost between the current contractor Baxter and Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd?

(3) Is Western Australia the only State that will be using dialysis products from Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd?

(4) Please detail advantages of using Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd products over Baxter products?

(5) Is it correct that some years ago Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd was contracted by the Health Department to supply peritoneal dialysis products and some patients developed infections and peritonitis?

(6) Is it correct that the peritoneal dialysis unit at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital will be closing down and if so, please state when the unit will be closing down?

(7) What support system will be in place for peritoneal dialysis patients with the changeover to Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd?

(8) Has Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd made any approaches to the Government about operating private clinics to service peritoneal dialysis patients?

(9) What arrangements are in place to deliver peritoneal dialysis products to patients in their homes?

(10) What arrangements are in place to pick-up the used boxes from the patient’s homes?

(11) Will you confirm that Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd can provide the optimum level of service and products to patients, and if not, why not?

(12) Is it correct that Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd does not have an “extraneal” product?

(13) Does Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd make a product equivalent to “extraneal” that will be compatible for dialysis patients, especially diabetic patients needing compatible special blood glucose monitoring equipment?



(1) No. Fresenius Medical Care has been chosen as the preferred proponent to establish a Home Dialysis Program in partnership with the Department of Health and Area Health Services. Contract negotiations are ongoing.

(2) Baxter Healthcare is the current provider of peritoneal dialysis fluids and associated consumables for this State. Negotiations are currently in progress for Fresenius to provide dialysis fluids, consumables, equipment and ongoing training and support for all Home Dialysis patients in WA. It is therefore not possible to compare the cost between the two.

Baxter Healthcare did submit a bid through the procurement process to establish a Home Dialysis Program in WA, but this was significantly more expensive than the bid submitted by Fresenius Medical Care.

(3)No. Fresenius dialysis products are used widely throughout all States and Territories in Australia.

(4) Fresenius is the world's largest dialysis company, while dialysis products are only one part of the products produced by Baxter. Fresenius actively participates in dialysis-related research and is currently supporting an Australian investigator driven research project involving peritoneal dialysis products.

With respect to haemodialysis products, Fresenius is the world leader in home haemodialysis equipment. Fresenius equipment is used in some of the largest home haemodialysis programs in the world, including in Canada and the UK. Fresenius currently provides the preferred home haemodialysis machine in WA and also provides many of the haemodialysis machines in in-centres and satellite dialysis units in this State and around Australia and the world.

The peritoneal dialysis products produced by the two companies are viewed by the nephrology community as being largely interchangeable.

(5) Peritonitis is a common complication of all peritoneal dialysis, irrespective of the type of peritoneal dialysis products used.

(6) No, the peritoneal dialysis unit at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital will not be closing down but its size and functions will be reviewed to complement proposed new community based peritoneal dialysis services.

(7) It is proposed that Fresenius provide ongoing training and support for all peritoneal dialysis patients in this State. This includes the provision of all dialysis fluids and other consumables. Allied health and social/psychological support will also be provided. These services will also be supported by peritoneal dialysis staff and specialist clinical staff in the teaching hospitals.

(8) No.

(9) Fresenius have committed to delivering all peritoneal dialysis products to patient's homes on a monthly basis or as required on a fortnightly basis.

(10) Fresenius have committed to removing all old stock from the patient's homes.

(11) Fresenius have a proven track record throughout the world in the provision of renal dialysis products and services. A Clinical Review Committee will be established by mid August 2006 to provide ongoing monitoring of the services and products supplied to patients. This process will occur through the establishment of Key Performance Indicators that will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. There are also international standards that will be used to monitor services, including the CARI (Caring for Australians with Renal Impairment), ISPD (International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis), KDOQI (Kidney Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative) (USA) and the European Best Practice guidelines.

(12) Yes.

(13) No, but Fresenius will continue to provide the extraneal product produced by Baxter on an as required basis.