top of page

Kidney Health Australia: The kidney failure no one wants but too many focus on

Tragically, of the two million Australians affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), most won’t know they have the disease until it’s too late, often spiralling into kidney failure and dialysis.

That’s not too surprising considering the disease is symptomless at early stages. In fact, 90 per cent of kidney function can be lost with no symptoms.

Though there is no cure for kidney disease, there are clear pathways for change and new medications for early-stage CKD. If detected early, the progression to kidney failure can be slowed or even stopped, extending Australians’ quality of life and significantly reducing systemic costs.

1.8 million Australians are unaware they are living with the condition.

Chronic kidney disease affects 1 in 10 Australian adults. First Nations Australians are twiceas likely to have signsof kidney disease.

More than half of Australians aged 65+ have not been screened or tested for CKD despite being at risk of CKD. The main self-identified deterrents were ‘never thought about kidney disease’ (58 per cent) and ‘don’t think I’m at risk’ (38 per cent).

Up to 25 per cent of people with CKD, and up to 50 per cent of those on dialysis, will experience depression.

1 in 6 hospitalisations in Australia are kidney-related.

12 per cent of deaths in Australia are kidney-related — that’s 20,000 people per year.

Treatment for kidney failure is invasive and life-altering, and the costs and burden on individuals, their families, the health system and the economy are significant. With the number of Australians treated for kidney failure doubling in the last two decades, there is a compelling case for greater focus on kidney preservation. We must stop people reaching kidney failure. 

Investment in targeted screening and earlier diagnosis has both health and economic benefits — with the potential to save the health system $45 for every dollar invested in early detection, saving up to 38,000 Australians from premature death over the next 20 years.

Now is the time for the kidney community, clinical, corporate and government stakeholders to support and invest in efforts to change the paradigm of kidney disease.

We recognise the importance of collaborating and working with visionaries to invest in the future of Kidney Health Australia, and our vision is to have sustainable funding partnerships. We understand that philanthropic support is instrumental and there is an opportunity to build and maintain relationships that result in impact.

We see trust and foundations as key leaders, who with their investment and support can transform generations to come. We are seeking to align with like-minded organisations and individuals who recognise the power of philanthropy for a disease that needs urgent attention, with enormous potential to save people from significant and ongoing suffering.

To find out more, please reach out to GM Fundraising, Claire Baxter:

With increasing public knowledge of the disease, a continued focus on addressing gaps in support, better therapeutic options for early-stage kidney disease, and a greater focus on research, the foundations are in place to transform kidney health in Australia, pending investment.

As the recognised voice for CKD in Australia, Kidney Health Australia is driving awareness and earlier detection of CKD and championing best practice care to slow disease progression and improve health outcomes. Through advocacy, programs and partnerships, we’re changing the paradigm from kidney failure to kidney preservation.

Helping people with CKD

Kidney Health Australia provides useful education resources for people living with kidney disease and health professionals available for free download via These range from clinical guidelines and practice tools, to useful information, factsheets and books for people living with kidney disease to better understand their kidney health and the types of actions they can take to improve their wellbeing.

To find out if you are at risk of CKD, you can take the 2-minute online risk test at and download some information to help you talk to your healthcare team about kidney disease.

Our resources support understanding the range of kidney-related medical issues. This includes a range of resources to help you manage a kidney-friendly diet, including meal ideas, eating out and recipe books.

We have a range of comprehensive booklets and books on managing life with kidney disease for both kidney patients and health professionals, and easy-to-read factsheets covering a broad range of kidney issues. Our expert team have developed over one hundred downloadable and printable PDFs to help patients, carers, parents and health professionals.

Helping health decision-makers

We walk alongside our community of kidney warriors, amplifying their voices across all levels of government. Kidney Health Australia is challenging the status quo by calling for improvements to existing policies, developing new ideas, adopting innovation, and presenting actionable solutions when things aren’t working.

Key focus areas we’re advocating for are:

  • Early detection and management of CKD (moving from kidney failure to kidney preservation).

  • Increasing living kidney donations.

  • First Nations support.

  • Transportation and financial issues related to kidney failure treatment.

At Parliament House, Canberra, on World Kidney Day 2023, we launched a ground-breaking report that highlighted the issues and solutions.

Deloitte Access Economics developed a report on the economic cost of chronic kidney disease in Australia and the return on investment that could be achieved through early detection and best practice management of CKD. The report was commissioned by Kidney Health Australia with consultation from ANZDATA, AIHW and members of Kidney HealthAustralia’s PEAK group.

We call for the provision of equitable health care for all Australians, culturally safe care, and strong and effective representation.

Helping healthcare teams

For over 20 years, Kidney Health Australia has provided evidence-based education and resources to doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals across Australia, building confidence in kidney disease diagnosis and management to busy healthcare professionals.

With improved online tools and in-person sessions, we continue to educate and support health professionals to transform the way CKD is detected and managed nationwide.

The Health Professional Hub is a quick, easy and free way for busy health professionals to access vital resources and information, connect with us for support and network with like-minded peers. You can access exclusive content, education, news, and the latest in research.

Register for webinars, view the webinar recordings, and download resources. Importantly, the Health Professional Hub is a referral portal that allows healthcare professionals to direct newly diagnosed people to Kidney Health Australia for further assistance and support programs.

The 5th edition of our handbook, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Management in Primary Care, launched on World Kidney Day 2024 and is available for purchase or download at

This handbook is the go-to ‘kidney bible’ — an evidence-based source of information, providing guidance and clinical tips to help healthcare professionals nationwide detect, manage and refer patients with CKD in their practice.

Referring your patients to Kidney Health Australia gives them access to relevant information, and in the comfort of the patient’s own home in their own time, our qualified and knowledgeable staff can also provide answers to their questions via the free Kidney Helpline at 1800 454 363.

Important new changes in the 5th edition include new recommendations for the use of medications to slow the progression of CKD and reduce cardiovascular (CVD) risk, a revised algorithm for the initial detection and diagnosis of CKD, and new guidelines and algorithm for referral of people with CKD to kidney specialists.

The handbook is also easily accessible via The CKD-Go! app, downloadable for Apple and Android devices.

What can you do?

  1. Think (and talk) about kidneys.

  2. Find out if you, your friends and family are at risk of kidney disease at

  3. If you work in healthcare, familiarise yourself with the new recommendations in the 5th edition handbook and sign up to the Health Professional Hub:

  4. If you or someone you know is living with CKD, connect with Kidney Health Australia for support and information at

1800 454 363


bottom of page