Hontiveros files bill seeking free complete 144 dialysis sessions for seniors

Senator Risa Hontiveros files a bill aiming to give senior citizens free complete 144 dialysis sessions.

Under Senate Bill No. 2053 or the “Free Dialysis for Senior Citizens Act of 2021,”  seniors with diseases undergoing dialysis could fully reimburse through the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) all of their sessions done in freestanding dialysis centers or accredited hospitals.

Currently, PhilHealth only pays for 90 dialysis sessions, but Hontiveros said her proposal aims to cover complete 144 sessions needed for a complete year of treatment.

“Dialysis has become the lifeline for so many of our senior citizens. It is already difficult to grow old, pero doble ang hirap ng mga lolo’t lola na kailangan ding magpa-dialysis (but our grandfathers and grandmothers who need dialysis face twice the hardship). We should help ease the burden,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

“How do we expect them to afford the extra P135,000 needed to complete their sessions? That is a massive obligation. It is simply unjust,” she noted.

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Hontiveros files bill seeking free complete 144 dialysis sessions for seniors

Hontiveros added the bill should be passed into law as soon as possible to make the life of Filipinos with kidney disease easier. The disease is the seventh leading cause of death among Filipinos, according to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).

“Kidney disease is one of the killer sicknesses in the country. I hope this will be a foot in the door to finally expanding the coverage and permanently increasing the number of dialysis sessions we can give our people to give them the chance to still live their lives,” Hontiveros stressed.

PhilHealth extended the 90 free dialysis treatments to 144 but until December 31, 2020, only. The change came after stakeholders complained that some private clinics did not comply with the policy that the sessions could be extended during a state of calamity or emergency.

In November 2020, Hontiveros also asked PhilHealth to make the expanded free dialysis sessions permanent.

 

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