Our kidneys are one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies. A certain treatment has been innovated because of this situation. A dialysis treatment is meant to allow people who have failing kidneys live better and longer. One of the downsides, of course, is its cost—it’s not cheap and it will be expensive depending on a patient’s condition.
A petition to provide free dialysis treatment to indigent patients have been going on and just recently, the House of Representatives has approved the measure, waiting on for the Senate counterpart of the bill to be submitted to the office of the President.
Let’s learn the timeline of the bill and possibly, when it will be signed into law.
As of the moment, the measure that seeks to provide free dialysis treatment to the needy is on its third and final reading.
Having a total of 117 votes by lawmakers, the measure was approved on Monday afternoon by the chamber. House Bill 9156 or more commonly known as the “Comprehensive Renal Replacement Therapy Act,” (RRT) might soon become a reality.
What does the House Bill 9156 mandate?
The Comprehensive Renal Replacement Therapy Act (RRT) looks to provide to patients who are needy and with end stage renal disease in all regional, provincial, and national government hospitals.
In addition to that, it also looks to heighten the PhilHealth package for RRT and for the members of it for better and a much more flexible coverage for this specific type of condition.
No Balance Billing Policy
Patients who would fall under the category as indigent patients, will be covered by the No Balance Billing Policy. Meaning, RRT facilities will be required to operate and engage in regular organ donation activities of advocacy that will further inform Filipinos to carry the organ donor card.
Simultaneously, the measure will ultimately see an increase in the PhilHealth Z-benefit package rates for both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis after procedures of necessary kidney transplants.
RRT facility personnel
In forecasting, there would be thousands of patients who will be undergoing this treatment if the bill is deemed to be a relevant part of healthcare. Which is why Nephrologists, dialysis technicians and nurses, and operating room nurses in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis will be required to undergo extensive training.
Carlos Zarate, Bayan Muna party-list Representative, one of the principal and main authors of the bill welcomed and was joyous when the news of the measure being on its final approval was sent out.
We believe that the passing of House Bill 9156 acknowledges two things: one, that health is something that the ordinary Filipino could not afford, and two, that the government is scrimping on health budget despite the desperate need of our people.”
In the same way, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is mandated to provide the remaining required sessions for the two (2) peritoneal and hemodialysis after the patient exhausted their PhilHealth benefit package or premium.
Zarate adds that they are calling out to the Senate counterpart of the bill so that it can immediately take effect as soon as possible as it can save thousands, if not millions, of lives.
We call on the immediate passage of the Senate counterpart of this bill so that it may be made into law the soonest time possible, because the government should decisively act on the worsening renal diseases in the country, exacerbated by worsening poverty.”
There are abundant cases of worsening kidney failure cases in the Philippines. This is why the Comprehensive Renal Replacement Therapy Act was formed—to give aid and a hand to those who are in serious trouble and in need.
Hopefully, this gets actioned swiftly and accordingly in order to service the need of thousands and thousands of indigent patients who have kidney failure conditions. What do you think about this measure? Would free dialysis treatment be a relevant additive to the ongoing improvement that our government has?