Go seeks free dialysis for the poor in Congress

May 7, 2017

Baguio Representative Mark Go authored a measure that would provide free dialysis treatment to poor patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
House Bill No. 5503 was filed mandating one national government hospital in every province and/or region to establish a dialysis unit that would grant free dialysis treatment to poor patients.
The lawmaker noted that the increasing number of cases of kidney failure in the Philippines is quite alarming. According to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, one Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour or about 120 Filipinos per million population per year. More than 5,000 Filipino patients are presently undergoing dialysis and approximately 1.1 million people worldwide are on renal replacement therapy.
“The optimum frequency of dialysis is three times a week, but due to its being costly and inaccessibility mainly in the provinces, patients compromise their health conditions. The cost of a kidney operations ranges from P600,000 to P1M while a session of dialysis will cost a patient more or less P4,000,” Go explained.
Philhealth records show that in 2014, hemodialysis posted the most number of filed claims among procedures at 691,489, with a total benefit payments amounting to P4,666,806,642.
In 2012, Philhealth announced that it will subsidize the cost of kidney transplant up to P600,000 for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. In 2015, it expanded its subsidy of dialysis treatment from 45 to 90 sessions annually covering P2,500 per session.
“The subsidy and accessibility of dialysis treatment is very limited. The establishment of a dialysis treatment in one national government hospital in every province and/or region is urgent and vital to cater to our poor patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease and avail such procedure for free,” the lawmaker stressed.
It can be recalled that earlier this year, dialysis patients from Baguio City launched a signature campaign seeking free dialysis services stating that health insurance has not been enough to cover the cost of a three-day per week dialysis treatment. PR / ABN

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