Hontiveros to refile bill providing free 144 dialysis sessions for seniors
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros said Tuesday she will re-file in the 19th Congress a bill seeking to provide free 144 dialysis sessions for senior citizens.
Hontiveros said that most senior citizens are dependent on meager pensions with no other source of income, noting that seniors are the “most vulnerable” among those with Chronic Kidney Disease.
“Ramdam pa rin natin ang epekto ng pandemya. Ngayon ay may mga panibagong pasanin pa ang ating ekonomiya dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina, kaya kailangan nating patuloy na alalayan sila,” she said in a statement.
(We still feel the effects of the pandemic. Now, we have new issues in our economy due to the increase in oil prices, that’s why we should continue helping them.)
Hontiveros explained that patient undergoing dialysis needs a total of 156 sessions for a complete year of treatment, which costs around P12,000 weekly without subsidy.
“Since then, we’ve been calling on PhilHealth to continue the free dialysis service. Every year, senior citizens would keep asking us if the free dialysis sessions would continue,” Hontiveros said.
“Kaya sa tingin ko ay dapat nang gawing batas ito para mabigyan ng kapanatagan ang mga lolo at lola nating umaasa rito. This isn’t just any privilege. It’s literally their lifeline. Dapat automatic na yung pagiging libre ng kanilang dialysis sessions,” she added.
(That’s why I think that we should institutionalize this bill to give comfort to our elders who depend on this. This isn’t just any privilege. It’s literally their lifeline. Free dialysis should be automatic.)
The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation had earlier increased the number of subsidized dialysis sessions from 90 to 144. However, this was only effective until December 2020.
In 2021, Hontiveros then filed her measure to institutionalize the 144 free dialysis sessions but remained pending at the committee level until the 18th Congress ended. — Xander Dave Ceballos, trainee
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