Oliver Bugarin 0 0 0 4 min to read

Sens. aiming to improve the number of indigents’ access to free dialysis sessions.

Senators called on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to provide more free dialysis treatments to poor renal patients.

In July, PhilHealth increased its coverage for outpatient hemodialysis for members and their dependents with stage 5 chronic renal disease who are listed in the PhilHealth Dialysis Database from 90 to a maximum of 144 sessions through December 31.

The 91st through 144th sessions must only be utilized for outpatient dialysis, and any sessions that aren’t used won’t be carried over to 2023.

Given the prevalence of renal illness in the Philippines, many people cannot access medical care. There are huge waits at the NKTI (National Kidney and Transplant Institute) and other public hospitals, where the dialysis cost is less expensive. The expense of receiving dialysis treatments at private healthcare facilities is particularly high these days, according to a statement released on Sunday by Senator Imee Marcos.

Kidney illnesses are among the top 10 main causes of death in the nation, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority as of May.

Marcos stated that she will submit a bill proposing a set fee of $90 for 180 needy dialysis sessions.

On the 105th anniversary of the birth of her father, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who passed away in 1989 from end-stage renal failure, Marcos said, “This means additional savings for indigent patients, in addition to PhilHealth benefits that reduce the average PHP3,500 cost of dialysis per session.”

Under the leadership of Marcos Sr., the world-class NKTI facility for kidney, urologic, vascular, and organ transplant health was created in 1981.

As part of her yearly commitment to provide free dialysis services in memory of her father, Marcos paid a visit to the NKTI on Friday.

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go introduced a bill requiring PhilHealth to offer all members free dialysis.

According to the proposed Free Dialysis Act of 2022, PhilHealth must create a comprehensive dialysis benefit package that will fully cover all expenses associated with hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis treatments, sessions, and procedures carried out in PhilHealth-accredited medical facilities.

Senator Risa Hontiveros also reiterated her plea to PhilHealth to maintain the provision of no-cost dialysis sessions, stating that each patient needs at least 156 sessions to finish their course of treatment in a year, which equates to PHP12,000 in weekly costs.

She asked the Department of Health to step up efforts to prevent disease and promote health, particularly the early identification of potential kidney issues in young children.

To ensure that all patients may easily obtain treatment without having to travel far, Senator Joel Villanueva is promoting the creation of dialysis centers in national, provincial, and regional hospitals.

Senator JV Ejercito introduced a similar bill requiring all regional and provincial government hospitals to set up, run, and maintain a dialysis ward or unit and offer free dialysis to needy patients.

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