Baguio journos to submit free dialysis petition

MEMBERS of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club Inc. (BCBC) will submit next week the signature campaign to make dialysis a free medical service to President Rodrigo Duterte, the Congress of the Philippines and the concerned national government offices with the hope that these offices will work together to make it a reality.

BCBC outgoing president Ramon Dacawi, in a letter to be sent to the agencies, said these offices “can make effective government support to dialysis patients by pooling its resources with those of other agencies into a common fund from where dialysis payments may be drawn, without the patient having to request for personal support to be able to live.”

“Your approval of national free-dialysis policy similar to that of other countries like the United States of America would surely bring relief to many families at a loss where to get the next sum for their kin’s next dialysis session,” Dacawi stressed.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan endorsed the petition to the same offices including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health and the PhilHealth saying making this emergency life-saving procedure free “would lighten the load of patients and their families freeing them from the daily burden of how to cope with the coast of dialysis in order to survive.”

“Free dialysis would lessen if not put a stop to the decision of many to kick the bucket despite the truth that life is beautiful and should be lived,” the mayor lamented.

The mayor said Filipino patients depend on the PhilHealth allocation of 90 dialysis sessions a year which is not enough considering that a patient averages two sessions a week or 104 sessions a year apart from the fact that hospitalization expenses of the patients are also drawn from the same dialysis allocation.

“The situation forces many patients needing confinement to skip hospitalization in a vain effort to stretch their Philhealth allocation until the next year when a new 90-session-per-year arrangement is in effect,” the mayor said.

The mayor also observed patients and their relatives over the years have been submitting support papers to the various agencies, hoping to get an allocation of one or two dialysis but this process denies those who are ignorant of the procedures access to these support funds.

More than 30,000 have so far signed the petition including persons deprived of liberty, students and drivers.

Dacawi is encouraging more groups to follow suit by affixing their signatures to keep the campaign going.

Groups and individuals who did their own initiatives on the campaign were also called upon to submit their petitions to the Public Information Office of the City Mayor’s Office at City Hall for collation and inclusion in the documents to be submitted to the national offices.

To bolster the drive, local government units in the provincial, city, municipal and even barangay levels are also urged to adopt their own resolutions of support which they may base on the BCBC resolution that can be downloaded from the petition posted at the website (www.change.org and search for free dialysis petition; or through the following link: www.change.org/p/urge-president-rodrigo-roa-duterte-make-dialysis-treatment-free-for-all-filipinos).

“Those with initiatives on the signature campaign kindly inform us at the PIO-CMO or email us at mondax bench@yahoo.com so we can acknowledge and at the same time know how far we have gone in this campaign,” Dacawi said.

Sign-up sites for the campaign are at the city public information office and city councilors’ offices at the Baguio City Hall, PIA-CAR in front of the Mansion, Luisa’s Café along Session Road and the Baguio General Hospital dialysis section and Bookends book shop along Calderon Street. (PR)


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