Zarate urges colleagues to pass free dialysis bill

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Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate welcomed the committee-level approval at the House of Representatives of the bill requiring government hospitals to provide free dialysis treatments for indigent patients.

The Makabayan lawmaker, one of the authors of six bills consolidated into one substitute version, said, ”We filed House Resolution 244 as an urgent response to the needs of our people.”

“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 filed this measure knowing that lives hang in the balance,” Zarate said.

“We believe that the substitute bill 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. Our people begging for help for dialysis treatments is a common sight at the House of Representatives,” he added.

“We call for the immediate passage of this bill. The government should decisively act on the worsening renal diseases in the country, exacerbated by worsening poverty,” Zarate said.

The House committee on health has approved the bill requiring government hospitals to provide free dialysis treatment to indigent patients.

In recognizing the “catastrophic” financial drain caused by fighting kidney diseases, the bill, a consolidation of six measures, shall mandate all government hospitals to establish, operate, and maintain a “dialysis service facility” for the poor.

It also provides for the establishment of affordable and accessible kidney transplant facilities in strategic areas across the country, as kidney transplantation has been shown to provide the highest quality of life for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.