Bill seeks dialysis wards in govt hospitals



The Manila Times


HOUSE of Representatives Deputy Speaker Camille Villar-Genuino filed a bill for the construction of dialysis wards in government hospitals and to offer free treatment to the poor. The Las Piñas representative said House Bill 3908 recognizes that access to quality health care is essential to maintaining a healthy society. According to Villar-Genuino, chronic kidney disease is one of the top causes of deaths in the country. “With the number of citizens affected by kidney diseases that continues to increase annually, together with the high mortality risk posed, the need to capacitate our government hospitals is immediate and significant,” VillarGenuino said. All national, regional, and provincial government hospitals must arrange, operate, and maintain a dialysis ward with all the necessary dialysis equipment and supplies within two years of the proposed bill’s approval and once it has been put into law. Likewise, based on the Department of Social Welfare and Development evaluation, free dialysis treatment must be provided to patients who lack sources of income or support. A dialysis session usually costs P4,500 and is recommended to be conducted thrice weekly, which would add up to P13,500. This amount, Villar-Genuino said, could be considered huge for an average family and potentially hinders patients from availing of regular treatments. Villar-Genuino said that the Covid-19 pandemic has “exposed the weakness of our country’s medical capacity, which makes it even more urgent to get ready and attend to all of our citizens’ medical needs.” The National Kidney and Transplant Institute, considered the top referral facility in the country, allegedly experienced challenges as a result of the pandemic, which led to a reduction in bed capacity, a decrease in hospital admissions and an increase in patients’ length of stay.