Senator Imee Marcos has urged the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) to offer indigent kidney patients more free dialysis treatments.
The senator made the call ahead of the September 11 birth anniversary of her father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whose life was extended by dialysis treatments until he died of end-stage renal failure in 1989.
Kidney disease remains among the top 10 leading causes of death in the country, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Although Philhealth increased last July the free treatments it offers, from 90 to 144, Marcos explained that the extra 54 sessions only apply from July to December this year.
“With the number of Filipinos who suffer kidney disease, many are also unable to seek treatment. The lines are long at the NKTI and other public hospitals where the cost of dialysis is lower. Getting sick these days is expensive, especially the cost of dialysis treatments at private healthcare centers,” Marcos pointed out.
Marcos intends to file a Senate bill permanently increasing free dialysis treatments for indigent patients to 180 sessions.
“This means extra savings for indigent patients, in addition to Philhealth benefits that reduce the average Php3,500 cost of dialysis per session,” the senator said.
The late President Marcos Sr. built the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in 1981, which is considered a world-class facility for renal, urologic, vascular and organ transplant health. (PR)
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