Kidney Disease - a perspective from Ireland

Hi Dori / Guys

Dori, in another message you asked fot the Irish experience and kidney disease, PD etc.

Heres a bit of a rundown of Dialysis in Ireland. My wife was diagnosed out of the blue - November 2006.

The two health systems in Ireland are Public and Private. Private is something you can opt into if you wish. It used to be a more delux version of public before, but in recent times with huge hospital waiting lists and stuffed A & E’s the general differences are in some cases not that great. For us though - having private - has turned out to be a huge help.

Private costs about €50 ( $80 ) a month individually, but their are family pricings also. The main players in private health are - VHI ( us ), BUPA, VIVAS. By private I mean you pay per month - if something happens to you, all your costs are paid for by the scheme you pay into.

In my wifes case EVERYThING so far has been paid for. From day one - the initial operations, the Haemodialysis before going on Peritonal, the whole Peritonal kit out, the machine, fluids, towels and all that. The firm contracted to supply all PD requirements is BAXTER. Even down to going abroad to Europe for example, once Baxter are told about 4 weeks in advance - they will make sure the fluids are at the hotel/apartment for you. All this - costs us nothing.

Now I should say that as part of the Irish Health system - if you are diagnosed with a disease ( no matter who you are OR what social standing ) such as Kidney Disease you get a Medical Card from the Government. This is effectively a pass GO, collect all type card in the Irish Medical system. Covered under this are all the drugs ( Except Vitamins ), hospital visits proceedures and the like. Anything else like visits to consultant private rooms which falls outside the medical card is covered by the private health scheme ( if you can afford ) - in our case VHI.

So the trick here is - if you can budget for it - pay the €50 a month private and if you get say kidney disease you will also benefit from this medical card. With both all bases are pretty much covered for care.

This is part one, I will gather my thoughts and add more as we go. If any questions OR corrections please ask/supply, Ill do my best to answer


Very interesting, Aidan. What types of home dialysis are available in Ireland? Obviously PD is; is there any home hemo that you’re aware of?

Hi Dori,

Nope their is no Home Hemo available here in Ireland - as far as we are aware. It was not offered to us as an option either.

Here in Cork City the main centre is Cork University Hospital - CUH. Cork is a university city - UCC ( University College Cork ) has been here since the 1800’s. They are currently building a new multistorey premises on the grounds of CUH which will be the new cardiac and Renal Unit.

“The new unit will have 141 inpatient beds, 35 renal dialysis places and 10 catheterisation laboratory recovery places.”

Its being built currently.

The renal Team in CUH also carry out alot of research. Our consultant - Dr Joe Eustace is one of the top guys there. As far as I know ( via Google and what we heard ) he came back from the US of A, he was in the Johns Hopkins Hospital.