The Dialysis programme explained

Treating Chronic Kidney Disease with Bestmed

Your kidneys are responsible for cleaning your blood, removing excess fluid and producing hormones that help make red blood cells, promote bone health, and regulate blood pressure.

People with failed or damaged kidneys have difficulty eliminating waste and unwanted water from their blood – this condition is called renal failure, or chronic kidney disease. Part of the treatment for renal failure includes dialysis – a procedure that helps to prevent waste products in the blood from reaching hazardous levels.

Bestmed Is There for You

While chronic kidney disease is a lifelong journey, it isn’t a death sentence. With the right support, a good diet and the right treatment, people suffering from renal failure still have the chance to live a better, longer and healthier life. That’s why our dialysis programme has been specifically designed to help manage their condition with a clinically appropriate treatment plan.


This is the most common form of dialysis, and the one most people are aware of. A doctor/sister at the dialysis unit needs to insert a needle into your vein, giving the external dialysis machine (a special filter that acts as an artificial kidney) access to your blood vessels. The blood then flows through this dialyser in order to clean your blood, acting like a healthy kidney.

The procedure is usually carried out three times a week, with each session lasting approximately four hours.

Peritoneal Dialysis

Like the kidneys, the peritoneum (the lining in the cavity of your abdomen) contains thousands of tiny blood vessels, making it a useful filtering device. During peritoneal dialysis the peritoneum acts as a filter for your blood.

Before treatment starts, a small cut is made near your belly button and a catheter is inserted; this is left in place permanently. Fluid is pumped into the peritoneal cavity through the catheter and after a set period of time, the fluid with the filtered waste products flows out of your abdomen and is discarded.

Peritoneal dialysis is performed three to four times a day and takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Get the Treatment You Need

Members requiring chronic dialysis for end-stage renal failure (ESRF) can register for our dialysis programme. Depending on clinical- and other criteria, we’ll cover you for haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis as part of your Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMB)*.

A Team of Experts

We have appointed the National Renal Care (NRC) as our designated service provider for renal dialysis services. Established in 1995, NRC is the only private dialysis therapy provider in SA that has a national network of 64 dedicated dialysis units and a presence in every major centre throughout the country.

In order to qualify for these benefits, you must:

  • Register with our dialysis programme
  • Obtain a clinical summary of your condition from your treating doctor, as well as test results and details on associated diseases, e.g. diabetes and hypertension.
  • Present a history of your condition, as well as ICD10 codes from your doctor

Remember that chronic kidney disease can strike anybody, at any time. If you experience unexplained nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, changes in how much you urinate, swelling of the feet/ankles or persistent itching, please notify your doctor as soon as possible for further investigation.

Need more information? Call us on 012 472 6235 or send an email to 

*Certain medicines to treat ESRF are only covered when funding guidelines are met


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