Health Secretary Janette Garin announced Wednesday that the Department of Health (DOH) will place dialysis machines in each provincial hospital to complement the increase of benefits for PhilHealth members.
"Tutulong ang DOH dahil sinisimulan natin ngayon na bawat provincial hospital ay meron talagang dialysis center. Kaakibat nito yung pag-increase ng PhilHealth packages to cover dialysis," Garin said.
Each dialysis center was granted P17 to P18 million.
According to a statement by the DOH, a total of 326 dialysis clinics were licensed to operate all over the country in 2015.
In the same year, the DOH directed PhilHealth "to adjust its hemodialysis package from 45 to 90 sessions per year to increase the maximum coverage per patient."
Dr. Susan Jorge of the Philippine Renal Disease & Prevention Control Program said at the kickoff of the National Kidney Awareness Month that the task was undertaken to counteract the dramatic increase in dialysis patients in the last ten years.
The increase in patients also meant that PhilHealth will have to put out more for the medical needs of its members.
"Nakakabahala siya dahil kung patuloy siyang tumataas, ang ibig sabihin nito malaki din yung burden na nai-impose niya sa ating PhilHealth," Jorge said.
Jorge said the number of cases of kidney diseases increased from "8,000 to 15,000" in 10 years to 28,215 today.
Quoting data from the US Renal Data System, Jorge said the Philippines is "one of seven countries that showed" a rapid increase in cases of kidney disease in the last decade.
"185 percent ang pagtaas in a ten-year period na ang pagtaas niya since the time na nag-start sila na mag-analyze ng ating data mula 2000," Jorge said.
The Philippines is also one of the countries where diabetes noticeably lead to end stage renal disease.
"And according to the International Diabetes Federation, the Philippines is becoming one of fifty countries emerging as a diabetes hotspot," Jorge added.
In recognition of Kidney Awareness Month, Dr. Nerissa Gerial of the National Kidney & Transplant Institute said the institute will offer free treatment to the first 100 patients on June 3, 10, 17, and 24.
Patients with requests for urinalysis, creatinine, cystatin C, fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, and general ultrasound will be entertained.
A blood pressure check, urinalysis screening, and preventive nephrology lecture for grade school students will also be conducted at Barangay Piñahan Elementary School in Quezon City. — APG, GMA News