Kidney clinic first for Australia's north

·2-min read

Northern Australia's first specialised clinic targeting the "silent" problem of kidney disease has been opened at Townsville University Hospital.

The renal facility is equipped for early diagnosis and ongoing clinical care for people who suffer or are at risk of inherited or genetic forms of kidney disease, including kidney cancer.

Professor Andrew Mallet, who previously chaired the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Clinical Council, will operate the clinic.

He says a higher percentage of people in northern Australia, including north Queensland, experience severe kidney disease compared to the rest of the country.

"Kidney disease is something that is silent in the community, is significantly there, and if we don't recognise it and do something about it, it's going to cause big problems for people as well as for the health services," Prof Mallet told AAP.

"Whether that's by telehealth or by video, or by telephone contacts, all of those things can be very effective tools in helping to care for patients and providing the care that they need, in partnership with general practitioners and proper care."

The Townsville renal clinic will initially treat 50 people via referral and is expected to eventually care for more than 500 patients a year.

Professor Mallet says it will help people who previously weren't able to get access to new types of testing and accurate diagnoses.

"Five years from now a fantastic outlook would be having patients get access to the right tests at the right time, getting the right diagnosis, and then because of that, being afforded changes in the kind of treatment that they're receiving, that will ultimately improve their lives and the lives of their family and community," he said.

Professor Mallet added the new clinic would work with a network of clinics across Australia, which would allow models of care to be compared and modified to greater benefit.