Written by Donald A. Promnitz
Dialysis patients and health care workers rallied in Fresno Thursday to support new legislation meant to improve dialysis treatment. The bill, SB-349, has already cleared the California State Senate and is expected to pass an Assembly vote.
The rally was held at Fresenius Kidney Care San Joaquin Valley Dialysis Center at 3636 N. First St. Among those to speak at the event was Megallan Handford, a dialysis nurse from Corona.
“Clinics are regularly understaffed, leaving patients at risk for injury and death,” Handford said. “Reports indicate that clinics fail to protect against the spread of tuberculosis [and] hepatitis, and the clinic is unsanitary—there’s blood left on machines, they have problems with cockroaches and mice on the floor.”
If passed, SB-349 will mandate more nurses and providers to care for patients, higher standards and more inspections for clinics, and longer recovery time for patients.
“The patients in this clinic—including myself—deserve to have more staff,” said Irene Botello, a dialysis patient and a supporter of the bill. “I shouldn’t have to come to treatment and pray that I will make it out alive for my family.”
Following speeches, Botello and others gave a petition to the staff of the Fresenius center.