Kidney diseases, just like any other serious health complication, can be difficult to manage and address. This is because of the number of medications, treatments, and checkups that one needs to undergo in order to treat it.
In the Philippines per se, medicines for kidney diseases can cost thousands. Hence, patients and their loved ones often get forced to shell out money and work twice or thrice as hard just to sustain treatments and medications. (Read: 4 Key Facts to Remember When Buying Health Supplements)
This is why many were thankful when the country’s health insurer, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), announced that they will offer unlimited dialysis treatments to members during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service has, in a way, helped alleviate the burden among Filipinos who’ve been struggling from dealing with the impacts of the health, social, and political crises in the country.
But just recently, PhilHealth has announced that the unlimited dialysis treatment for its members will no longer be offered after September 15. This is due to the fact that the country’s six-month declaration of a state of calamity will already end on the said date.
Because of the declaration of a state of calamity, the usual 90-session free dialysis limit for each PhilHealth member has been temporarily erased. Rey Baleña, PhilHealth spokesperson, says this system will reinstated once the unlimited dialysis treatments are ceased.
“Kung ma-exhaust na nila ‘yung kanilang cap, ‘yung 45 o 90 days. Hangga’t tayo po ay nasa pandemya, kung sila ay mangangailangan ng dialysis, sila ay makaka-avail pa rin ng benefit,” he said. (Read: Here’s How to Keep a Healthy Body With Intra All-Natural Food Supplement)
Baleña added that any PhilHealth member who paid for dialysis during the state of calamity may be reimbursed as long as they can provide receipts. “Baka hindi lang aware ‘yung dialysis center kasi alam talaga nila na up to 90 days. Pero kapag may ganito tayong situations na under fortuitous event, may special privilege tayong in-extend sa mga miyembro,” he explained.
State of Calamity
On March 17, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of calamity in the country as a result of the rising cases of COVID-19. The declaration allowed the government to tap more funds for the Philippines’s COVID-19 response.
As of writing, the Philippines has over 245,000 confirmed cases, at least 186,000 recoveries, and 3,986 deaths.