Senator Sonny Angara calls for a wider access to free dialysis treatment for Filipinos living in the provinces. Amid the rising number of Filipinos diagnosed with renal failure, many are unable to undergo dialysis due to its inaccessibility and high cost in the rural areas.

Angara urges his colleagues to support his bill and create a Constitutional mandate to make health services affordable and accessible to Filipinos.

Sen. Angara filed the Senate Bill No. 1329 in hope of improving the delivery of healthcare services in regional, and provincial government hospitals.

The bill will also mandate that health establishments must have and maintain a dialysis ward or unit with free dialysis medical procedure for indigent Filipinos.

FREE Dialysis treatment for Filipinos: Bill No. 1329 FILED

Furthermore, Angara noted that poor patients suffering from kidney ailment could not afford traveling to the cities to avail dialysis treatment. In addition, the procedure itself is too costly for them. And these patients need regular dialysis treatment as much as three times a week.

If untreated with a dialysis procedure, the patients’ health deteriorates more progressively. Kidney failure is currently the country’s seventh leading cause of death. Add to that, 3.51 million Filipinos aged 20-79 are diagnosed to have diabetes in 2015. Diabetes usually leads to renal failure.

Related: FREE medicines for Diabetic and Hypertensive Patients.

Based on the data from the Department of Health (DOH), 23,000 patients with kidney failure underwent dialysis treatment in 2013. The number increased by 10 to 15% increase per year.

According to the National Kidney Institute, about 120 Filipinos develop chronic renal failure every year. These figures have pushed Angara to propose the “Dialysis Center Act” to require a dialysis ward in all government hospitals.

The cost of dialysis treatment is between P2,000 to P2,500 in the public health hospitals and can increase up to P4,000 in private hospitals.

If approved, free dialysis will be given to indigent patients whose combined annual family income is less than P30,000.