Senator wants dialysis centers in all provincial, regional hospitals

(PNA) MANILA – Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Friday urged his colleagues for the immediate passage of Senate Bill (SB) No. 800 mandating the establishment of dialysis centers in all national, regional, and provincial government hospitals that will provide free dialysis treatment to indigent patients.

Malaking kaluwagan sa bulsa, oras at iba pang alalahanin ng pasyente at kanilang pamilya kung may dialysis ward o centers sa lahat ng pampublikong ospital sa mga probinsya at gawing libre ito sa mga mahihirap (It would be a big relief for the pockets, time and well-being of patients and their families if there are dialysis wards or centers in all government hospitals in the provinces, and make the treatment free to the poor),” Estrada said in a statement.

In pushing for SB 800, Estrada noted that there is a rising case of kidney diseases all over the country but specialized hospitals are situated in urban centers.

Latest data from the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) show that kidney diseases are the seventh leading cause of death among Filipinos.

One Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour, or about 120 Filipinos per million population every year.

According to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), current estimates indicate that approximately 2.3 million Filipinos have chronic kidney disease (CKD).

“Sophisticated medical equipment and advanced facilities are concentrated in highly urbanized cities. Consequently, patients from rural areas often need to travel long distances, which incurs high costs, including travel expenses. For patients with kidney disorders who require regular dialysis, these financial burdens can be especially challenging,” Estrada said.

He also noted that in 2016, more than 36,000 patients underwent dialysis treatment, indicating a 15-percent increase in the number of patients in a single year.

These figures highlight the severity of the problem faced by the country’s healthcare system and the need for concerted efforts to combat the rise of CKD.

“As such, policymakers, healthcare providers, and the public must become more aware of the situation and take action to address it. By doing so, it may be possible to mitigate the impact of CKD on individuals and society as a whole,” Estrada said.

Under his proposed “Dialysis Center Act,” all national, regional, and provincial government hospitals will be mandated to maintain a dialysis center – with complete dialysis machines, equipment, and supplies – within two years from the enactment of the bill.

Funding for the operations of the centers shall be included in the yearly national budget. (Leonel Abasola/PNA)