Press Release
July 3, 2015


Senator Sonny Angara has filed a bill that mandates free dialysis treatment to indigent patients amid rising cases of kidney disease in the country.

Angara cited data from the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing under the Department of Health which shows that close to 23,000 patients underwent dialysis treatment due to kidney failure in 2013, a huge jump from the 4,000 cases recorded in 2004.

This figure, the DOH noted, does not include those suffering from kidney failure--now the country's 7th leading cause of death--but who are not able to undergo dialysis treatment due to its high cost and inaccessibility especially in the rural areas.

"Patients from the provinces, who are suffering from kidney disorder, have to travel all the way to urban cities just to avail themselves of dialysis treatment, which is needed on a regular and sustained basis. Some patients even die without a chance to undergo dialysis because they simply could not afford it," the lawmaker said.

Senate Bill No. 2849 or the Dialysis Center Act 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 those living in the rural areas.

The proposed measure also mandates that dialysis treatment be provided free of charge to indigent patients, whose combined annual family income does not exceed P30,000.

"In line with the government's efforts to reform the health sector and provide Filipinos with comprehensive health services, local government units must be tapped to make healthcare services more affordable and accessible," he said.

Angara also welcomed the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation's (PhilHealth) recent expansion of hemodialysis coverage from 45 to 90 sessions per year in a bid to lessen the financial burden of its members due to the rising incidence of kidney diseases in the country.

"I laud this move by the PhilHealth in response to the growing clamor from stakeholders to increase the coverage for dialysis. I urge my colleagues to support the passage of this bill to make health services more accessible and affordable to our countrymen," he added.

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