Vital treatment is now available to tourists in a picturesque Cork-Kerry setting
BY ELAINE O’REGAN
Nurses Barbara Wallace and Eileen Phelan are eyeing the inbound tourism market with a haemodialysis clinic on the Cork-Kerry border offering dialysis treatment to tourists visiting the surrounding region.
Wallace and Phelan, who are both renal dialysis nurses, established Irish Holiday Dialysis in Shronebeha outside the village of Banteer in north Cork a year ago.
“We’re old friends and we worked together for years as dialysis nurses, ” said Wallace. “We had both been contacted quite a bit over the years by people abroad who wanted to come to Ireland for holidays. They’d ask for our help arranging dialysis treatment here and we realised that it was virtually impossible for them to do that. They couldn’t get a space in one of our busy hospitals. So we decided to setup a clinic specifically dedicated to holiday patients.”
Wallace and Phelan spent two years researching their idea, contacting kidney patient organisations and existing holiday dialysis clinics in other countries. “There are travel agents in other countries who do nothing but book holidays for people who need dialysis, ” said Wallace. “They were telling us that Ireland wasn’t even on the map, so people who needed dialysis who Want to come here just couldn’t. You could go on a cruise or skiing in the Alps and have dialysis, but there was nothing in Ireland. ”
In keeping with their target market, Wallace and Phelan opted for a location popular with overseas tourists and setup their clinic in a picturesque 200 —year-old cottage. Rowan Cottage, a two station clinic, houses Baxter AK98 machines providing bicarbonate based haemodialysis with high Flux dialysers. The water used in the treatment is tested regularly in keeping with international standards and the clinic adheres to a HSE-compliant disinfection regime.
Patients booking treatments by phone or email must provide information on their usual dialysis regime parameters and a signed consent from their nephrologist.
“We wanted a genuine holiday feeling for patients, so we cater to relatives and friends who want to come with them” said Phelan. “We have a ﬁreside library and we do home baking and cooking. We have lovely gardens with a chicken run and local walks with trail map. We really want to promote the treatment as a pleasant part of the holiday.”
Further information and booking details http://www.irishholidaydialysis.ie