Although Indigenous Australians represent less than 2% of the national population, they account for 8-10% of new patients commencing treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Almost half come from remote regions lacking renal disease treatment services. In those regions, their incidence of ESRD is up to 30 times the incidence for all Australians. Kidney transplantation is the optimal treatment for ESRD. Compared with long-term dialysis, it results in better quality of life, longer life expectancy and lower costs of health care. Indigenous Australians with ESRD receive transplants at approximately one-third the rate of non-Indigenous patients. There are similar disparities in access to kidney transplants for Native Americans, Aboriginal Canadians and New Zealander Maori. The reasons for such disparities have not been studied in any detail. IMPAKT (Improving Patient Access to Kidney Transplantation) is an NHMRC-funded study, involving eight major renal units. It aims to identify the reasons for Indigenous Australians' poor access to transplantation. It will systematically examine each of the steps a new dialysis patient must negotiate in order to receive a transplant. Each of these steps can become a barrier.
|Publication status||Published - 2004|