MANILA–An increase in the number of Filipino kidney patients undergoing dialysis has prompted Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara to renew his call to provide free dialysis treatments to indigent patients in provinces.
Angara on Wednesday pushed anew for the passage of Senate Bill 1329, which seeks free dialysis treatment to indigent patients in all hospitals in the country.
He urged his colleagues in the Senate to support his measure.
“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,” Angara said.
Angara filed the measure stressing that poor patients suffering from kidney ailment who are living in the provinces could not afford traveling to the cities and seek treatment.
Moreover, he said that they could not afford the high cost of the procedure itself, which is needed on a regular and sustained basis.
“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,” Angara said.
“Worse, some patients have died without being given a chance to undergo dialysis simply because they could not afford it,” he added.
Angara said that his measure is meant to make health services available to all Filipinos at affordable cost.
Citing data from the Department of Health, Angara said that there are already 3.51 million Filipinos aged 20 to 79 in 2015 who have diabetes.
Meanwhile, close to 23,000 patients underwent dialysis treatment due to kidney failure in 2013, a huge jump from 4,000 cases recorded in 2004.
In 2013, kidney disease was the sixth leading cause of death in the Philippines.