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Monday, February 4, 2013

Kidney transplant, also for non-millionaires who need it

It was Day 4 of my Hemodialysis session and I met this fellow patient who was also having dialysis in the same facility as I am. We shared our stories, the reason why we came to this point. I asked him how long he has been on dialysis and how was he doing. At one point I asked him if he was considering a transplant. He replied no because a transplant costs 2 million pesos.

Hearing this I just realized that apparently there are still end-stage renal disease patients who are unaware of the Z-package for kidney transplant patients and one example is the patient I just met.

And so I told the guy that there is already a Z-package which will reduce the cost of transplant alone to less than a million (excluding anti-rejection meds) if as a co-paying patient or sponsored if classified as an indigent patient. The guy replied that he will still not avail of the Z-package because he does not believe he can afford the package.

And so it struck me. He may not be alone in his belief. Perhaps many patients like him still believe that they do not really have a chance to undergo a transplant under the PhilHealth Z-package.

I am hoping that my kidney transplant under the Z-package will be successful so that I may inspire others to avail of this very timely package and therefore have a second chance of life even if they are not affluent.

Meanwhile I am preparing for an upcoming bilateral nephrectomy this week, an equally difficult procedure. And after that, another challenge...going through days without a single kidney while waiting for the transplant.

Please say a prayer for me and my surgeons and my team of doctors. Say a prayer also for all the other patients who are on hemodialysis who may want to go through kidney transplant. That they not be discouraged by their financial standing.

Kidney transplants should not be for rich patients only. With the Z-package, there is hope for others who are not millionaires.

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