PCSO urged to bring back financial aid to kidney patients

BAGUIO CITY – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) should restore the regular financial support erstwhile given to kidney patients undergoing lifetime hemodialysis treatment.

Councilor Peter Fianza, in a proposed resolution, said the P20,000 regular fund support to dialysis patients previously given by the PCSO serves as “a life-blood, literally and otherwise, since patients rely on it to maintain their regular twice-a-month Epoetin injections and other medications they have to regularly take to survive.”

The PCSO stopped the grant of the aid after it learned that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Phil-Health) had increased the number of hemodialysis treatment coverage from 45 treatments to 90 sessions per year.

Fianza said the cancellation of the PCSO aid negated the objective of Phil-Health in increasing the grant and that of the PCSO itself in setting up a district office in the city to bring closer to the indigent patients who have no means of sustaining their lifetime treatment its humanitarian services.

“The withdrawal of such regular PCSO fund support puts a dent on the government’s health support program for the poor, especially for dialysis patients who have to undergo life-time dialysis treatment of two to three sessions a week and to maintain their medicines,” Fianza said.

He said the increase of annual Phil-Health dialysis treatment from 45 to 90 per year “still falls short of annual sessions patients have to undergo, especially so that patients have to still pay portions of their treatments.”

“The increase of Phil-Health sponsored treatments does not address the need of patients for a fallback when they are hospitalized as hospitalization is chargeable to the Phil-Health support intended for payment of dialysis treatments;

“The PCSO’s move canceling financial support to dialysis patients exacerbates the difficulties patients undergo as they now have no fallback in their desire to maintain their treatment, especially for regular Epoetin injections and medicine intake maintenance,” he said.

In his proposal, Fianza sought to request the PCSO to reinstate the assistance and endorsed the resolution of the kidney patients particularly the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Dialysis Patients and Partners Association to the administrators of both the PCSO and PhilHealth “for their attention and action for the sake of thousands of dialysis patients who depend on the mandates of these support agencies for their survival.”

The association requested the city council to adopt a resolution asking the PCSO to set up a district and regional offices in Baguio and other parts of the in 2013 which was later granted leading to the establishment of a local PCSO office to serve patients in need of assistance in the city.

In 2014, again at the instance of the association, the city council passed a resolution asking PhilHealth to implement its plan to increase the coverage of dialysis treatments from 45 to 90, which again was give due course.

Both measures were endorsed and followed up by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr.

The city council referred Fianza’s proposal to a committee for study and recommendation./Aileen P. Refuerzo


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