Corrections is installing a dialysis machine in Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, for life-extending treatment for convicted drug operation mastermind William "Bird" Hines.

Hines, 64, was jailed for 18 and a half years last month for manufacturing methamphetamine, and the possession of firearms and ammunition.

The father of six has had long associations with the Headhunters motorcycle gang and his address is listed as the gang's headquarters in Marua Rd, Ellerslie.

Hines is battling type two diabetes, heart disease and end stage renal failure. His trial was interrupted every second day for his dialysis treatment.

Advertisement

A prison source told the Herald on Sunday he has been "locked up at Mt Eden Corrections facility because of its close proximity to Auckland City Hospital for his dialysis treatment".

"But he will be transferred back to Paremoremo once the dialysis machine is installed."

Corrections confirmed a dialysis machine was being installed at Auckland Prison, but wouldn't confirm which inmate it was for for privacy reasons.

"A dialysis machine is to be installed at Auckland prison to treat a patient," Bronwyn Donaldson, director of offender health said.

"This is a cost-effective move that will eliminate the costs of daily transportation to hospital for treatment, as well as the potential for escape and introducing contraband. It is a joint initiative with the local DHB."

Corrections said Hawkes Bay Regional Prison also has a dialysis machine to treat a prisoner.

"Every time a prisoner leaves prison for medical treatment, there is a cost involved in terms of staff time," Donaldson said.

"Corrections has a duty of care towards prisoners. Their health is important so they can engage properly in rehabilitation opportunities such as education, training and work, which will help them move towards a crime-free life."

All Corrections' prisons meet the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) standards for general practice.

"Prisoners are often suffering from extremely poor health (both physical and mental) when they arrive in prison," Donaldson said.

"The healthcare they receive often far exceeds what they were accessing in the community.

"Prison health services treat the same conditions as in the community - such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity [and the] flu."

Vaccinations are also provided for inmates.

Carmel Gregan-Ford, national education manager of Kidney Health New Zealand told the Herald on Sunday there are about 2700 people on dialysis in New Zealand, a 12 per cent increase from last year.

She said it costs about $70,000 dollars a year for patients to go to hospital for hemodialysis, which is usually done three times a week.

"But it's $40,000 if you are on peritoenal dialysis where a tube is inserted through the tummy. That's done every day, 7 days a week," she said.

Gregan-Ford said there wasn't a waiting list for dialysis treatment.

"Anybody who needs dialysis usually gets it, but there are waiting lists for transplants," she said.