DIALYSIS and kidney recipients' lives are extended due to support of Philhealth funds that reduce amount of dialysis services and kidney transplant operation services.

Patients undergoing dialysis and patients undergoing kidney transplant could reach more years of survival due to affordable service given by Philhealth and support of other government agencies on medicines after operation, said transplant doctor Franklin Guillano during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at The Annex of SM City Davao Monday.

"Dati the problem is that they refuse dialysis because of the cost, ngayon, dialysis has been accepted by people as a form of extension of life 13-15 years unlike dati pag narining ang dialysis malapit na akong mamatay" Guillano said.

There are approximately about 3,000 patients who underwent dialysis last year: 1,200 from Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC); 500 in Nephro Group and 500 are in other out-patient dialysis centers, he said.

Nephro Group of Dialysis Center regional manager Trinidad Ola, for her part, said they offer as low as P600 per dialysis session with the help of the package by the Philhealth.

She said this is affordable compared to P3,000 to P7,000 cost of dialysis before.

Patients undergo dialysis once or twice a week or thrice a week depending on the need.

Meanwhile, Guillano said 5 percent of these dialysis patients are currently waiting for transplant.

Patients who want to have kidney transplants can avail for as low as P200,000 to P250,000 including the operation of the donor with the help of the Z Philhealth package.

He added that 98 percent of these kidney transplants are successful.

Eduardo Duero, a patient who underwent kidney transplant last September 2014, gladly shared his successful operation with the help of Philhealth funds.

"Nine months ko nag-dialysis due to failure sa kidney ug nagpasalamat ko nga naabot ang time nga dili nako magpadialysis ug sa kahigayunan jud para sa transplant. Nagpasalamat ko sa Philhealth nga nag-ayuda ug P600,000 for kidney transplant and the agency sa governments naglibre ang medicines after sa transplant (I had dialysis for nine months due to kidney failure and I am thankful that I will not need dialysis anymore and that I'm given the chance to have a transplant.

I am thankful to Philhealth who gave me P600,000 for the kidney transplant and the government agencies who provided me free medicines after the transplant)," Duero said.

Guillano said they are raising awareness for more cadaver organ donations aside living relative donors to suffice the need of those who want to have kidney transplants.

He advised people to take care of their kidneys by drinking enough water, taking a regular exercise, controlling sugar and carbohydrates intake, avoid taking unprescribed medicines, and avoid smoking and reducing alcohol consumption.

Most cases of people that need dialysis and kidney transplant are those who have diabetes, hypertension and glumerulonephritis.(KVC/PR)