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Kidney Foundation not impressed with Irish Water 'honour system'

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said that the system is “probably the most progressive” of its kind in Europe.

Dialysis
Dialysis

THE IRISH KIDNEY Foundation has called on Irish Water to confirm that additional water allowances will be made available for people receiving home haemodialysis.

The organisation’s CEO Mark Murphy made the comments after it emerged that the list of medical conditions that will qualify for water allowances will not be drawn up until 2017.

“Leaving this up the air is just a folly … it’s nonsense,” Murphy commented.

When TheJournal.ie asked Environment Minister Alan Kelly how people who require extra water, such as those with kidney and bowel conditions, could apply for allowances he said that an honour-based system would be put in place.

Kelly described the approach as “probably the most progressive system” of its kind in Europe.

The minister said if somebody feels they have “a requirement from a medical point of view for more water” they just need to fill out a form.

‘Concerns’

Kelly said he has “concerns” about drawing up a list of medical conditions that would enable someone to qualify for additional water as there would be “debates all the time about what should be on the list”.

Murphy said that an exception should be made for people on home haemodialysis, as they can use up to 1,400 litres of water a night.

“What honour do they need?”

Large volumes of water are required to get the ultra-pure water [needed for use in the dialysis machine].

Murphy added that there are less than 100 people receiving the treatment nationally.

At the time of publication, Irish Water had not responded to a request for comment.

Additional reporting: Sinéad O’Carroll

Related: Those with bowel conditions should get extra water allowance, says councillor

Read: Households with undrinkable water could be in line for a bigger discount

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Órla Ryan

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