Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar has filed a measure seeking to establish dialysis units in government hospitals and provide free treatments to indigent patients.
In filing House Bill 3098, Villar said chronic kidney disease is among the leading causes of death in the country and a major cause of hospitalization.
“With the number of citizens affected with kidney diseases that continue to increase annually, together with the high mortality risk posed, the need to capacitate our government hospitals is immediate and significant,” the lone district representative pointed out.
Once enacted, all national, regional, and provincial government hospitals shall be required to establish, operate and maintain a dialysis ward, with a complete dialysis machine, equipment, and supplies within two years from the proposed law’s approval.
Moreover, dialysis treatment of patients who have no visible means of income or support, as determined by the Social Welfare department, shall be provided free of charge.
A dialysis session usually costs P4,500, and is recommended to be conducted thrice weekly, which would sum up to P13,500.
This amount, Villar said, could be considered a huge amount for an average family and potentially hinders patients to avail of regular treatments.
The COVID-19 pandemic, Villar added, has “exposed our country’s vulnerability in medical capacity which further strengthens the urgency to prepare and respond to all medical needs of our citizens.”
According to the lawmaker, the operations and services of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the leading referral center in the country, faced difficulties due to COVID-19, resulting in a decrease in bed capacity, decrease in hospital admissions, and an increase in length of stay of patients.