Free dialysis treatment signature campaign backed

BAGUIO CITY – The signature campaign requesting the national government to provide for a Free Dialysis Treatment is gaining support, netting more than 5,000 signatures since the campaign was launched on Thursday, January 17.

The drive, launched by the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club Inc. (BCBC) and the Philippine Information Agency – Cordillera Regional Office (PIA-CAR), aims to convince the national government to provide free dialysis treatment for all kidney patients undergoing the blood-cleansing procedure in the country.

The signatures came from the Cordillera Region, other cities and provinces in the country, and from as far as countries in Asia, Europe and the United States gathered through an on-line petition posted by the BCBC at the website www.change.org.

BCBC president Ramon Dacawi and PIA-CAR director Helen Tibaldo urged government officials in the different localities – provincial, city, municipal and barangays all over the country – to launch a similar campaign by proposing and approving resolutions requesting the Office of the President, the Senate and House of Representatives, the Department of Health, Philhealth and other national government agencies to come up with a unified Free Dialysis Health Program for the whole country.

They may base their measures on the BCBC resolution that can be downloaded from the petition posted at 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 where people can also register their support.

Earlier, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan signed Resolution 11 s. 2017 initiated by Baguio City Councilors Edgar Avila and Peter Fianza, supporting the campaign.

In nearby La Trinidad, Benguet, a similar resolution filed by Municipal Councilor Joey Jovencio was approved by the council and is awaiting the signature of Mayor Romeo Salda.

Of the more than 5,000 signatures gathered, businesswoman Maricar Docyogen submitted 2,000 signatures from their sign-up nook at the Bookends Shop where the book trader with the Pasakalye group of local artists started gathering signatures.

Other sign-up sites are at the Public Information Office at the Baguio City Hall, PIA-CAR office in front of the Mansion, Luisa’s Café along Session Road and the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) dialysis section.

More than 500 signatures were collated from the on-line petition signed by followers from all over the country and other parts of the world.

The on-line signatories were from the various states of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China.

Most of those who signed up were dialysis patients or had family members or relatives who either underwent or are still undergoing the treatment, affirming the sorry plight of dialysis patients struggling to make both ends meet on their dialysis requirement.

The campaign was based on two cases and one of which was the letter addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte written by Alma Bella Castillo, a dialysis patient from Manila.

The letter partially reads, “having this disease will really lead to death once you skip treatment and lack of finances is the main cause wherein patients die in the last quarters of the year due to inability to pay in cash of the dialysis treatment. We rely only with the free sessions given by Philhealth and with this we still have other medical needs such as labaratories, medicines, injections etc. which also require ample funds. Please help us Mr. President,” Castillo wrote.

The other case was that of patient Jane Lamlamag Garcia who died last month shortly after consuming all her Philhealth sessions and voluntarily foregoing treatment to give way to the medical needs of her two equally sick daughters.

From the on-line petition, others signed up to sympathize with the patients and offering explanations why they signed. PNA-northboundasia.com