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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

House oks free dialysis for indigents
14 February 2018 08:01:32 PM

The House committee on health approved a substitute bill requiring government hospitals to provide free dialysis treatment to indigent patients.

The bill substituted House Bills 621, 2466, 3924, 4391 and 5503 and HR 244.

The bill mandates all government hospitals to establish, operate, and maintain a dialysis service facility in their respective hospitals.

It further provides for the establishment of affordable and accessible kidney transplant facilities in strategic areas across the country, as kidney transplantation has been shown to provide the highest quality of life for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.

“The measure was crafted to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health developments. Specifically, to improve the delivery of healthcare services to patients with ESRD and encourage them to have a kidney transplant,” said committee chair Rep. Angelina Tan.

Moreover, the bill seeks to assist patients who pursue first peritoneal dialysis, and hemodialysis should there be contra-indications.

It also provides a screening policy for indigents, and establishes kidney disease prevention activities to benefit ESRD patients and their families.

Its provisions qualify an indigent as a patient with no or insufficient source of income or family subsistence, an indigent as identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development National Household Targeting System-Poverty Reduction (DSWD NHTS-PR), or an indigent but not listed in the NHTS as assessed by a municipal development officer.

Moreover, the bill recognizes the “catastrophic” financial drain caused by fighting kidney diseases.

The measure includes the expansion of the PhilHealth benefit package for kidney transplantation of renal replacement therapy for both the living and deceased donors.

It also expands the PhilHealth coverage for the processes involved in kidney transplantation—from assessment, evaluation, and screening-- to treatment procedures and remedies, and even rehabilitation of donors and recipients.

The bill is authored by Reps. Joseph Stephen Paduano, Arthur Yap, Alfredo Vargas III, Tan, Mark Go, and Carlos Isagani Zarate.

Among those present during the meeting were Tan, Go, Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Estrelita Suansing, Lourdes Aggabao Elisa Kho, and Peter John Calderon. | CMBE