Sen. Risa Hontiveros last week filed a bill seeking to make free all 144 dialysis sessions for senior citizens.
PhilHealth, at present covers 90 sessions but House Bill 2053 or the “Free Dialysis for Senior Citizens Act of 2021”, aims to provide for all 144 sessions in all accredited hospitals or free-standing dialysis centers under the state insurer.
Previously, they had increased the number of subsidized sessions to 144 only until Dec. 31 last year, as it included non-senior citizens as well.
Under the bill, PhilHealth is to reimburse the costs of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, among other types, approved by the health department, as long as the needed treatment is availed of at accredited hospitals and dialysis centers.
Hontiveros said that the bill is especially relevant as the pandemic worsened the financial and physical vulnerabilities of the over-60 set, since aside from being unable to work due to health restrictions, they receive only P500 a month from their pension.
“With a case rate of P2,500 per session of dialysis, we cannot expect that our senior citizens needing this lifesaving treatment will be capable to pay the remaining 54 sessions amounting to P135,000,” she said.
Kidney disease is seventh among the country’s leading causes of death, according to National Kidney Transplant Institute.