WINNIPEG -- The province says it’s creating 12 new spaces for dialysis patients at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre, by adding an evening shift.

Two trained renal staff members have been hired for the evening shift, meaning the health centre can now accommodate 36 patients per week, instead of 24, starting March 1.

The annual cost of the expansion is around $300,000, said Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen.

“By increasing the number of spaces for dialysis patients in Dauphin, we will ensure more people living with kidney disease or failure have better access to the care they need, when they need it,” he said in a news release.

The province said 14 per cent of Manitobans live with kidney disease, a third of whom may develop kidney failure in their lifetimes. The CEO of the Prairie Mountain Health region, Penny Gilson, said the number of people in the area with end-stage kidney disease is going up.

“We are responding to this increased demand by continuing to plan prevention initiatives, deliver co-ordinated services and allocate appropriate resources to enhance access to service within the health region,” she said.

The province noted previous investments it had made to in dialysis programs, including $500,000 for home dialysis programs in Winnipeg and Brandon, and a unit at Health Sciences Centre expected to complete in 2021.