Docs warn of high cost of treating kidney-related diseases

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 March) – The Philippine Society of Nephrologists (PSN) warned the public about the cost of treatment for kidney-related diseases to reach at least P1 million, adding that diet and lifestyle remain the best prevention.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Club 888 media forum, PSN’s Karen Querequincia said that the cheapest kidney transplant would cost P250,000 if the patient has a PhilHealth account.

The average price for dialysis is around P4,500 per session without PhilHealth at two to three sessions a week.

“The patient will have to spend around P10,000 per week,” Querequincia said.

Translated to monthly expenses, dialysis alone would cost the patient at least P40,000 per month, and P500,000 a year.

“If you add medicine to the total expenses, the patient will have to spend at least P1 million,” noted Querequincia.

The PSN said that in the city alone, there are 1,260 dialysis patients, with 13 in the transplant list.

Davao City ranks fifth in the Philippines for the most number of dialysis patients.

At the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the PSN records 428 dialysis patients, while there are 200 patients in Tagum and 135 in Digos.

Last year, there were 14,395 patients on dialysis from all over the country.

Kidney infections stem from diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, according to the organization.

Patients who are most prone are those who have a family history of the diseases.

Lifestyle modification is the key, according to the doctor.

Cathy Anoos, who has had extensive experience treating kidney diseases, added those who have autoimmune deficiencies are also at risk.

Smokers and those addicted to unhealthy eating habits such as eating red meat and too much consumption of soft drinks also face risks of getting kidney diseases.

The organization on Thursday held an awareness campaign for the public at the SM Annex.

Events included a zumba party, as well as a public water-drinking campaign similar to last year’s ALS ice bucket challenge, which went viral in social media with users asking one another to pour ice water over themselves to raise awareness for the degenerative disease.

For the PSN event, the effort was simpler: a person asks another to drink a glass of water.