Big Red Kidney Bus (mobile holiday dialysis unit)

There are two big red kidney buses in Australia now – one in Victoria (run by Monash Health) and one in New South Wales (run by Royal North Shore Hospital), both in partnership with Kidney Health Australia. Both allow people on haemodialysis to take a holiday, and dialyse at the same time. There is no cost for this service.


  • Patients arrange their own accommodation near the location of the bus. They enjoy a holiday and come to the bus to receive their dialysis treatment as required.
  • The bus houses three dialysis chairs and three dialysis machines.
  • The bus will be driven to various locations throughout Victoria, up to seven times per year for a six week period at each destination.
  • Between 6 to 12 patients will receive dialysis three times a week, 3 patients at a time.
  • Monash Health nephrologists will be available via telephone for clinical matters, and the dialysis technicians will come on

Contact information

Big Red Kidney Bus

For holiday destination details, dates, bookings and general enquiries.


125 Cecil Street,
South Melbourne VIC 3205


For the Victorian bus, dialysis treatments are conducted by Monash Health dialysis nurses; the bus was donated by Ventura Bus Lines; three dialysis machines and three dialysis chairs were donated by Fresenius Medical Care Pty. Ltd. and are serviced and maintained by Monash Health.

Monash Health is funding the Victorian mobile dialysis unit.

Four haemodialysis patients from LaTrobe Regional Hospital’s Traralgon Haemodialysis Unit developed and pursued this idea: Vince Tripodi (dec.), Suzi Picken (dec.), Bruce Bremmer (dec.) and Peter Maxwell. Without their efforts, this concept would never have been realised. The number plates on the Victorian and NSW buses are ‘Suzi’ and ‘Vince’ respectively.

Calling all dialysis nurses

Come along and join the adventure. We literally can’t do this without you.

(Minimum three years’ dialysis experience required)

The bus won’t be going anywhere unless we have caring, capable and experienced dialysis nurses on board. Here is some information about working on the bus:
  • Dialysis nurses will be invited to join Monash Health’s casual nurse bank to meet workcover and indemnity requirements. Nurses will be asked to sign an agreement to special conditions.
  • You can choose to work the weeks and holiday locations that suit you.
  • You don’t have to work the entire holiday week period.
  • If you join the Monash Health casual nurse bank, you will be paid at casual rates to the maximum Grade 2, Year 10 RN level. The casual loading for Monday to Friday is 25%, for weekends it is 87.5% and for public holidays it is 250%. Uniform, shift and education allowances are not paid when casual rates are paid.
  • If you are already a Monash Health permanent staff member, we are unable to pay you in cash the total 25% casual loading for Monday to Friday, but a cash loading of 10% will apply – the remaining 15% is already set aside for you via entitlements, such as annual leave and sick leave, which is paid when you take it or need it. Add the 10% and 15% together, and you will ‘receive’ the equivalent of the 25% casual loading, as well as shift, uniform and education allowances. For weekends and public holidays, you will receive the casual loadings as noted above, less the 15% already set aside for you in entitlements.
  • The government Superannuation Guarantee Levy of 9.5% will be paid where more than $450 (before tax), per calendar month is earned with Monash Health, as per the tax laws.
  • Accommodation and meals will be paid for by you, however an allowance of $80 (if working one or two shifts per seven day period), or $200 (if working three or more shifts per seven day period), will be paid by Monash Health to assist with these costs. The bus co-ordinator will assist you to find accommodation in the holiday location.
  • Actual patient numbers will depend on the actual patient bookings. Only morning and afternoon shifts will be required, so there are no twilight or overnight shifts.
  • The morning shift is approximately 0630 to 1530 hours, and the afternoon shift is 1230 to 2030 hours. Total paid hours per shift is 8.
  • The morning shift nurse will be working alone until the afternoon shift nurse comes on. The afternoon shift nurse will then working alone once the morning nurse finishes the morning shift. However, if there is only one shift operating on the day due to reduced holiday bookings, the nurse will be working alone.

Gain employment on the bus

Lib Taylor, Big Red Kidney Bus Co-ordinator