A party-list lawmaker has pushed for the inclusion of senior citizens as beneficiaries of the free dialysis treatment in the committee-approved version of the proposed Comprehensive Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT) Act.

In a statement on Thursday, Senior Citizen Party-list Representative Rodolfo Ordanes said the proposal provides sets of policies on kidney transplantation, peritoneal dialysis, and hemodialysis, including making these therapies affordable to all seniors and indigents and expanding the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) transplant benefit package.

Around 2.3 million Filipino patients could benefit from the measure’s passage.

“In the bill, the PhilHealth transplant package covers both patient and prospective organ donor, so they do not have to worry about the cost of tests and the transplant,” Ordanes said.

The bill also increases the PhilHealth package rate by covering three peritoneal dialysis exchanges for 365 days and increases hemodialysis treatment coverage to four sessions per week.

Ordanes said these policies and cost benefits are also meant to “encourage more people to donate their kidneys through legitimate kidney donation processes, protecting the health of donors.”

He noted that the bill also sets a five-year target and mandate so that within that time all national, regional and provincial levels shall have their dialysis service facilities and wards, as well as have the needed trained personnel.

There is required registration of all dialysis patients in the PhilHealth dialysis database prior to availment of peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute is also given the added function of accreditation of dialysis training centers.

The House Committee on Health has also approved HBs 85, 156, 430, 1713, 1719, 1785, 2035, 2092, 2254, 2496, 2782, 2797, 3381, 3616, 4571, 5074, 5454 and 6238, which seek to provide Filipinos with free medical check-up annually.

Marikina City Representative Stella Luz Quimbo said this service would help strengthen the delivery of primary health care services in the country.

While PhilHealth would implement the program, she said the funding for the program must come from the national government and included in the annual budget. (PNA)