With kidney failure among the top 10 leading causes of death in the country according to the World Health Organization and with only more than 500 dialysis centers nationwide, Senator Richard J. Gordon said the Philippine Red Cross will open tomorrow (Tuesday) its first dialysis center at the PRC’s former national headquarters in Port Area, Manila.
Gordon said the PRC Dialysis Center will initially has 10 state-of-the-art dialysis machines which could cater to 60 to 90 patients, depending on whether they are on a twice or thrice a week hemodialysis program. The facility can accommodate 15 dialysis machines.
He cited the PRC’s partners for their contributions in making the opening of the dialysis center possible.
He specifically thanked Dr. Takao Suzuki, chairperson of Tokushukai General Inc. Association, for donating ten brand new hemodialysis machines, two automated dialyzer reprocessing machines, and the dialysis water treatment system.
He also thanked Jason Nien, president of EG Healthcare, for donating an Endotoxin Retentive Filter System.
“I thank our partner the Tokushukai group in Japan, led by Suzuki, for donating an initial ten machines, the latest in dialysis, among others. It is expected that the partnership will widen to more machines and to cover other cities and provinces if the initial project proves to be sustainable. We want to open other dialysis centers in other regions with the most number of dialysis patients, particularly indigents,” he said.
As of 2015, there are only 562 dialysis centers in the country, 139 of which are located in the National Capital Region, while the number of dialysis patients was recorded at 32,077, with 5,139 of whom are in Metro Manila.
The senator, who also heads the PRC, noted that kidney failure has emerged as one of the major health problems in the country.
He said thousands of patients have to undergo regular twice- to four-times a week hemodialysis treatment that causes strain to their families who have to continuously cope with the prohibitive costs of maintaining their dialysis treatment sessions, aside from regular and emergency medical examinations, hospitalization, and medicines.
“There is an epidemic of renal diseases in our country today. And it is a disease that is affecting both rich and poor,” he said.
“According to a doctor friend of mine, even those who have money found it difficult because if one has a renal disease, lifetime treatment is needed,” said Gordon.
“But how about our poor countrymen? ? So we are hoping that the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), PAGCor, and the PhilHealth will support our indigent patients who are the most vulnerable. Kasi we have to charge our patients P3,700 per session to be able to maintain our dialysis center but the amount covers the EPO injection which costs more than a thousand pesos.” he said.