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Thursday, October 1, 2015

An appeal to PCSO in behalf of hemodialysis patients in the Philippines

Recently, many of our fellow hemodialysis patients nationwide have been told that they won't be able to avail of the PCSO financial assistance for hemodialysis unless the 90 days free dialysis Philhealth benefit will be consumed.
It is with great sadness that we, hemodialysis patients hear of this new policy in PCSO which some of our fellow patients report to have been started. This may be due to the lack of information regarding what a hemodialysis patient goes through.
Yes we have started this year an additional 45 free sessions from Philhealth but that doesn't mean we won't anymore spend a single cent for our illness. Despite the increase in dialysis day benefits, we still struggle financially just to be able to extend our life. Thus we humbly appeal for PCSO to reconsider due to the following reasons:
1. EXPENSIVE ERYTHROPOIETIN AND TRANSFUSIONS.Hemodialysis patients will still have to spend for erythropoietin injections to avoid blood transfusions. despite the injections, some even require blood transfusions. Sometimes, some of us use oxygen and pay for it. Transfusions and erythropoietin injections are not exactly cheap.
2. OTHER MAINTENANCE MEDS. Hemodialysis patients have other maintenance medications like those for hypertension, elevated phosphorus, diabetes to name some. These medications are expensive taken once, much more if taken several times in a day for life.
3. DIALYZER NOT ALWAYS GOOD FOR 10 SESSIONS. We have to pay for our dialyzer and just to save money, the dialyzer is used for 10 sessions, which is not really ideal (since ideally, it should be single use). In some instances, the dialyzer just cannot be reused anymore and a new dialyzer is paid for even before the 10th session.
4. WE ALSO GET HOSPITALIZED. It is wrong to assume that hemodialysis patients don't get hospitalized. Hemodialysis patients are immunocompromised and are prone to infections and other diseases. Every time a hemodialysis patient is hospitalized, one day is taken from the Philhealth 90 days free benefit which we cannot anymore use for hemodialysis.
5. IDEALLY WE SHOULD TARGET FOR 3X a WEEK DIALYSIS.Perhaps it is not known to many that the preferred dialysis frequency is 3x a week, not 2x a week. Thus, a 90 days free benefit was welcomed with joy as the chance to save up for a 3x a week dialysis is opened. A 90 days free benefit can almost take care of the 2x a week requirement. But with PCSO benefit delayed, patients are left with no choice but to still cut down the ideal frequency from 3x to once or twice a week to keep up with the financial burden. Depriving hemodialysis patients of financial assistance when the 90 days free session is not consumed, will further decrease our chances of getting dialysis 3x as it should.
6. DENIAL OF PWD STATUS. Recently, some hemodialysis patients have been denied PWD status. Criteria for PWD has been applied inconsistently. Some have been told that since they can still walk, they are not considered PWD. The PWD card and the accompanying discounts on dialysis and medicines could have been a big help to us financially. With some unable to avail of the PWD benefits, all the more PCSO assistance becomes important.
6. 90 DAYS FREE SESSION IS NOT ACTUALLY FREE. The 90 days free benefit is almost enough to address the twice a week dialysis requirement.Theoretically. In reality, the 90 days free is NOT actually FREE. The actual price for hemodialysis is more than P2600 (the amount Philhealth used as basis for the standard price.) We still pay hundreds of pesos each session as the hemodialysis price is raised taking into consideration other fees. And besides, as mentioned earlier, hemodialysis should be 3x a week the least.
Therefore, the previous timing of PCSO assistance (distributed throughout the year and not only when 90 free sessions are consumed) prior to this change in policy was very much appreciated as this helped increase our chances of survival with each session added for dialysis. 
We appeal to your kind hearts. PCSO management please reconsider.
This petition is found in https://www.change.org/p/larry-r-cedro-ddm-pcso-asst-gen-manager-for-charity-please-reconsider-decision-giving-dialysis-aid-only-after-90-free-sessions-are-consumed?recruiter=62583127&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
If you support this cause, go to the link and "sign" there. Thank you and God bless.

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