PhilHealth to pay for kidney transplant-A A +A
Monday, October 15, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY –- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) announced that they will pay up to P600,000 for the kidney transplant procedure of every member and dependent, the “single largest benefit payment” offered by the state firm.
PhilHealth regional information officer Miramar Zabala said this will ease the burden of patients who are suffering from end-stage renal disease, especially that there is no health facility in Eastern Visayas that performs the medical procedure.
“With the P600,000 benefit payment, PhilHealth sees a dramatic increase in life-saving kidney transplants in the months ahead,” Zabala said.
Citing reports from National Renal Disease Registry, Zabala said that some 12,000 Filipinos develop kidney failure every year, or 120 per one million population. They have a mean age of 53 years, and six out of the 10 of them are male.
“Despite high cases, less than a thousand kidney transplants are performed in the country every year due to high cost of the procedure,” Zabala added.
According to PhilHealth, 25 percent of Filipinos with kidney failure die every year without receiving any treatment.
In the case of Eastern Visayas, those who suffer kidney have to undergo treatment in Cebu and Manila, which adds up to the burden of poor families.
Kidney transplant services are only available at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Medical Center in Cebu City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, and the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City.
These centers have excellent track records of more than 98% survival rates for kidney transplant patients.
PhilHealth President and CEO Eduardo Banzon said in a statement that the No Balance Billing Policy will be applied to kidney transplant patients from families earning P30, 000 or less annually. The P600,000 benefits already covers all treatment expense including medication, hospitalization, and professional fees.
Diabetes, inflammation of the kidneys, and high blood pressure were identified as the leading causes of kidney failure. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)