A PARTY-LIST congressman has sought to establish the Visayas Kidney Institute (VKI) in Cebu City to bring specialized medical services closer to kidney patients in the Visayas region and improve the delivery of health care services there.
Ako Bisaya Rep. Sonny Lagon said VKI will be patterned after the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City, which is one of the leading medical institutions in Asia that provide quality medical services for the treatment of kidney diseases.
Lagon said patients from the provinces are burdened with additional expenses when they seek treatment at the NKTI.
“Further, the institution is constantly saddled with a long list of patients that grow every year. Hence, it is ideal that a similar institution be established in the Visayas to enhance access to specialized medical services for kidney patients,” said Lagon whose party-list group is allied with Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) led by House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as president.
Lagon explained that kidney diseases, especially End Stage Renal Disease, are the 7th leading cause of death among Filipinos.
Citing data from the NKTI, Lagon said it showed that 20 percent of Filipinos were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, based on the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which measures kidney function.
“Presently, there are around 70,000 patients on dialysis, with thousands on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, but only 400 are able to undergo transplantation annually,” Lagon lamented.
In calling for the swift passage of his proposal, Lagon cited the constitutional mandate for the government to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development.
“It is essential for the government to recognize that the increasing cases of kidney diseases in the country pose serious threats to the well-being of the people and the country’s productivity in general considering the huge financial burden that the treatment of the disease entails,” said Lagon.