Dialysis clinic arrives in Puerto Rico a year after Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A mobile dialysis unit long sought by patients suffering kidney failure on the tiny Puerto Rican island of Vieques has arrived more than a year after Hurricane Maria.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Thursday that the $3 million unit bought by the U.S. government will be set up at a shelter serving as a makeshift emergency clinic.

Some patients had been flying three times a week to the main island of Puerto Rico for dialysis since the Category 4 storm hit last year. But at least five patients have died, with doctors and relatives saying that the constant trips wore them down.

Dialysis patient Elias Salgado told The Associated Press that he hopes the unit starts operating soon.

Officials shuttered Vieques' sole medical clinic after Maria. It is slated for demolition.

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