SANDAKAN (Bernama) -- The 23 haemodialysis machines at the Duchess of Kent Hospital here in Sandakan are insufficient to meet the needs of kidney patients, said the hospital's director Dr Francis Paul.

He said the dialysis centre at the hospital required four more haemodialysis machines, costing RM40,000 each.

He said this year, 127 patients had registered but only 120 people could get their dialysis treatment, which is given once a week and in three sessions due to insufficient hemodialysis machines.

"Although last year, the hospital received four new machines from private companies and non-governmental organisations, the number is still insufficient to meet daily needs," he said.

He said this during a briefing session held in conjunction with a visit from the Elopura Community Development unit to the hospital's dialysis centre, headed by its officer Chan Tzun Hei, on Tuesday.

Hence, Dr Francis said patients were encouraged to seek treatment at private clinics, as they could receive funding from the Public Service Department, thus giving an opportunity to those who were less fortunate to undergo dialysis treatment at government hospitals.

According to him, patients only needed to pay RM13 for each dialysis session at any government hospital compared to between RM150 and RM350 at private clinics.