As Senator Sonny Angara proposes measure to provide free dialysis treatment, he is calling his colleagues to support this measure in order to help kidney-disease stricken Filipino living in the provinces.
According to reports, Angara’s statement regarding the Bill for free dialysis was read as follows:“The aim of this bill is in consonance with the Constitutional mandate to make health services available to our countrymen at affordable cost. To further improve the delivery of healthcare services to the Filipino people, I call on my colleagues in the Upper Chamber to help and support me with this important legislation.”
The proposal for free dialysis treatment was referred to as Senate Bill No. 1329 requiring all national, regional, and provincial government hospitals to establish, operate and maintain a dialysis ward.
The proposal also aims to provide unit that will give free dialysis medical procedure to indigent patients.
Reported further, as Angara filed the measure, he noted that poor patients suffering from kidney ailment, who are living in the provinces, could not afford the expenses of traveling all the way to urban cities to seek dialysis treatment, and the high cost of the procedure itself, which is needed on a regular and sustained basis.
The explanatory of his bill was also as per report stated as follows:
“The optimum frequency of dialysis is three times a week, but because of its high cost and inaccessibility, some patients settle with less, thus causing their health to deteriorate more progressively.”
“Worse, some patients have died without being given a chance to undergo dialysis simply because they could not afford it,” he added.
Also, in connection with the government’s efforts to reform the health sector and provide Filipinos with comprehensive health services, Angara said, local government units must be tapped to make healthcare services more affordable and accessible.
“Thus, this bill requires all national, regional and provincial government hospitals to establish, operate and maintain a dialysis ward or unit to ensure that dialysis treatment will be available, accessible and cost-effective especially to those living in the rural areas,” he said in the explanatory note of his bill.
It was reported further that under the bill, dialysis treatment should be provided to indigent patients “free of charge.”
Angara also said that as per experts, there were estimated 3.51 million Filipinos aged 20-79, who have diabetes, in 2015.
Based also on reports, the data from the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing of the Department of Health (DOH), he said, also showed that close to 23,000 patients underwent dialysis treatment due to kidney failure in 2013, a huge jump from 4,000 cases recorded in 2004.
The above figure as per DOH does not include those suffering from kidney failure but who were not able to undergo dialysis treatment due to its high cost and inaccessibility especially in the rural areas.
As the free dialysis treatment was proposed, it is hoping that this will help minimize or cure the disease because in 2013, kidney disease was reported to be the 6th leading cause of death in the Philippines.