BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club(BCBC), in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera, launched in a kapihan forum last Tuesday, a signature campaign pushing for Congress to pass a law that will make dialysis in government health facilities free to all patients who need it.
BCBC President Ramon Dacawi said it has been his advocacy to help people undergoing dialysis wherein through his write ups, friends and volunteer donors help him provide financial assistance for the treatment of patients. Since he became a dialysis patient himself, the more he realized the financial burden of having such illness, he shared.
Dacawi stressed that they recognize the assistance of the government through Philhealth where 90 sessions of dialysis of health insurance package per year are available for PHilhealth members or their dependents. But for kidney patients who need three to four sessions a week, such assistance is not enough to sustain their life. To many patients, the average of around P2,400 per dialysis session is too much.
The BCBC and PIA hope that the signature campaign will gain support from every region of the country and even to those living abroad.
Aside from the signature campaign asking Congress to enact a law that will make dialysis free, Dacawi said they are also calling for local government units down to the barangay level to also draft their own version of the said BCBC resolution to make the advocacy stronger.
Dr. Shelly Aral of the Department of Health – CAR affirmed that that end stage renal disease remains a growing health concern in the region. From the over 500 new cases in 2014, it almost doubled with 900 plus new cases in 2015.
Aside from ensuring that the health department’s hemodialysis Unit are providing quality service, DOH also continues with their advocacy on kidney disease prevention, Aral added.
On the part of Philhealth, Information Officer Maggie Del Rosario said Philhealth is continuously working in improving the health benefit package for their members. Aside from the 90 days per year dialysis package at P2,600 per session for end-stage renal disease, there is also the Peritoneal Dialysis package at P2,600 per session and the Kidney Transplantation Package with P600,000 financial health assistance.
Other panelists in the forum were City Councilors Peter Fianza and Edgar Avila. Some hemodialysis patients with their friends and families also came to show their support./JDP/CCD – PIA CAR#