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Free dialysis treatment for poor patients gets House nod

/ 11:59 AM May 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill requiring government hospitals to provide free dialysis treatments for indigent patients.

The chamber approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 9156 or “Providing A Comprehensive Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT) For Patients With End Stage Renal Disease In National, Regional, And Provincial Government Hospitals, Increasing The PHILHEALTH Package Rate For Renal Replacement Therapy Of Members” after 177 lawmakers voted in favor of it on Monday. No one opposed or abstained from the approval of the bill.

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Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate welcomed the passage of the measure which he said will save many lives.

“The steep cost of health services in our country will set you back P25,000 to P46,000 a month for dialysis treatment, a price very few can afford. We pushed for this measure knowing that many lives hang in the balance,” Zarate, who is one of the principal authors of the measure, said in a statement Tuesday.

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Zarate also called on the immediate passage of the Senate counterpart of the bill it could be enacted into law at the soonest time possible.

HB 9156 further seeks to expand the PhilHealth coverage for kidney transplant or renal replacement therapy from both living and deceased donors. The bill also expands the PhilHealth coverage for kidney transplantation for the evaluation and screening of kidney donors and recipients up to the transplant procedure and post-transplantation procedures and remedies.

The measure also provides the “No Balance Billing Policy” to indigents. The policy refers to the government policy of not charging the medical expenses incurred over and beyond the PhilHealth package rates to a PhilHealth member who has undergone medical treatment.

HB 9156 substituted House Bills Nos. 621, 2466, 3924, 4391, 5503, 5914, 6356, 6526, 6667, 6969 by Reps. Joseph Paduano, Arthur Yap, Alfred Vargas, Angelina Tan, Mark Go, Lorna Silverio, Linabelle Villarica, Milagros Magsaysay, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Ann Hofer, respectively; and House Resolutions Nos. 244, 1048 and 1490 by Reps. Zarate, Scott Lanete, and Eugene De Vera. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)

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TAGS: dialysis, end-stage renal disease, Government Hospitals, House Bill 9156, indigent patients, Philhealth, renal replacement therapy
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