Press Release
August 9, 2015

Villar urges Philhealth to intensify info drive on free hemodialysis package

Sen. Cynthia Villar urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) to intensify its efforts to let the public know about the free hemodialysis treatment offered for members with kidney disease.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, issued this statement after learning that kidney disease is considered as the 7th leading cause of death in the country.

"Treatment is available and free, the problem is, our people don't know how to get it. My office, for one, continues to receive a big number of requests for referrals and medical assistance for dialysis," Villar said.

Villar noted that the growing prevalence of chronic kidney disease among Filipinos is quite alarming. In 2013, around 23,000 Filipinos underwent dialysis due to kidney failure. This is nearly four times higher than the 4,000 cases recorded in 2004, or a 10 to 15 percent increase a year.

The Nacionalista Party senator filed Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1464 directing the Senate to conduct an inquiry on the system of availment of benefit packages by patients, particularly the hemodialysis package, under the National Health Insurance Program of Philhealth.

"More Filipinos are now covered by Philhealth, but sadly, only a few people know about services offered under Philhealth, including the hemodialysis package," she added.

Villar said more Filipinos should be educated on how to avail of the hemodialysis package, which was increased from 45 to 90 sessions per year at P2,500 per session.

"We have received reports that the public, particularly those belonging to the marginalized sector stricken with kidney disease, may not be even aware of the availability of Philhealth benefit packages, because those in need failed to avail of this package or were even discouraged from availing as they still painstakingly and continuously obtain funds for treatment from relatives, friends, neighbors, and other benefactors," she said.

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