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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Gov. Crescencio C. Pacalso revealed health officials will provide the provincial government with additional ten dialysis machines to serve the increasing numbers of dialysis patients not only from the province but also from other neighboring provinces.
Pacalso added aside from the five existing dialysis machines given earlier to the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH), another 5 dialysis machines will arrive the soonest increasing the hospital’s capacity to treat patients.
He explained the dialysis machines in the government hospital are in addition to the existing ten machines being handled by a private company which are not sufficient to cater to the dialysis treatment of the growing number of renal problem patients.
The governor disclosed 5 of the dialysis machines from the health department will be installed at the Atok District Hospital while the other five will be given to the Dennis Molintas Memorial Hospital to make health facilities easily accessible to patients from the rural areas.
“We are alarmed at the rapid increase in patients who are being diagnosed with renal failure and are recommended to undergo the sensitive and painful dialysis treatment that is why we are also studying how we could bring the health facilities in the countryside so that people undergoing the treatment will no longer need to travel to the capital town or Baguio city just to have their dialysis treatment.
According to him, the provincial government will also to look into possible other funds for the purchase of addition units of the expensive dialysis treatment machines for other health facilities around the province to augment whatever the health department could provide.
Pacalso said the increasing number of individuals undergoing dialysis treatment in the different hospitals in Baguio and Benguet should serve as a warning for local residents to review their diet so to avoid suffering the same fate as their relatives who are undergoing the said treatment because it affects the emotional, social and financial condition of their families.
While he supports the initiative of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) calling on the national government to implement a free dialysis program, he claimed the decision still lies with the concerned government agency whether or not the health department and other health insurance groups are capable of providing the free treatment to the patients.
Currently, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation shoulders the dialysis treatment of renal patients for up to a maximum of 90 sessions annually but patients are seeking for the implementation of the free dialysis program to lessen the financial burden of their families who have to shoulder twice or thrice a week dialysis treatment in various hospitals in Baguio and Benguet.