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Indigent patients get free dialysis sessions at Camarines Sur Nephrozone Wellness Center

By Lizel S. Macatangay

SAN JOSE, Camarines Sur --- The gradual decline of her kidney function compelled Lida Pervera to seek medical treatment at the Bicol Medical Center (BMC), a tertiary-level government hospital located 55 kilometers away from Barangay Sabang in San Jose where she resides.

Although an ambulance from the municipality would ferry her to the hospital, it would take her nearly an hour to reach her destination. At the hospital, she had to go through the grueling process of waiting and queuing for her paper work. She also had to pay extra as she needed a travel companion due to her health condition.

The establishment of the San Jose Partido Nephrozone Wellness Center in her hometown has given her and 13 other kidney patients a glimmer of hope and the assurance of easily accessible health-care.

Gabriel Pilapil, like Pervera, expressed his gratitude to the municipal government of San Jose for establishing a dialysis center closer to their locality.

Pilapil, who is turning 60 on March 18, praised the efforts made by the local government to put up the San Jose Partido Nephrozone Wellness Center at the Rural Health Unit compound in Barangay Boclod, San Jose.

According to Pilapil, the convenience of having the dialysis center near their homes will allow them to sleep longer and save on food and other expenses whenever they go to the hospital.

An ambulance picks us up and takes us to the BMC on the day of our dialysis. I do dialysis twice a week. At two o’clock in the morning, we should be awake to prepare to go to Naga [City], because we should be at the BMC by 4:30 in the morning because the queue is long.

It helps that we have a dialysis center. I am grateful to Mayor Jerold, as well as the ambulance drivers, who sacrificed so much and never got tired of picking us up and bringing us just so we could have dialysis.

Juvilyn Narvato and Joel Bruzo, who are both residents of San Jose, expressed their appreciation to the local government unit (LGU) for joining hands with the DOH and a non-profit organization to set up a free dialysis service center.

“Dakulang ginhawa ini sa sakuyang pamilya, ta limitado naman ang paghiro ko. Sorbang sakit sa pamilya ko. Ang mga aki ko dae na makakakawat. May dakula na sindang obligasyon ta ang ina ninda nag da dialysis. Sa agom ko, naheherak man ako, kahit Linggo walang pahinga. Masaki tang pinag aagian mi na mga dialysis patients,” a teary-eyed Juvilyn said in vernacular.

(The proximity of the dialysis center brings immense relief to our family, considering my limited mobility. With their mother undergoing dialysis, my children have assumed a significant responsibility, leaving no room for play. I also feel sorry for my husband who can’t rest even on Sundays. Life is indeed tough for a dialysis patient.)

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa commended the LGU for employing public-private partnerships to implement President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s goal of a healthy citizenry.

In his keynote speech, Herbosa said: “Dito sa Camarines Sur almost 2,000 patients ang nakadialysis, and there are dialysis units, 17, pero lahat private. Ito po ang unang nailagay sa public office through the help of again the private sector, ang konsepto ng public-private partnership. Napakaganda diba? Tulungan para mag-grow ang mga serbisyo.”

(Here in Camarines Sur, almost 2,000 patients are on dialysis, and there are dialysis units, 17 but all private. This is the first to be placed in public office through the help of again the private sector, the concept of public-private partnership. Isn’t it beautiful? Help services grow.)

He continued: “Doon kasi sa private may dagdag pang bayad maliban dun sa binayad ng PhilHealth. May sinisingil pa anywhere between P1,500 and P2,500 depende sa dialysis center, at yung pamasahe pa—ito yong tinatawag nating hidden cost ng ating pasyente.”

(Because there is an additional fee in the private sector other than the one paid by PhilHealth. There is still a charge anywhere between P1,500 and P2,500 depending on the dialysis center, and your fare—this is what we call the hidden cost of our patient.)

Herbosa said that the 10 dialysis machines in San Jose will greatly help the treatment of indigent patients in San Jose.

“So malaking malaking tulong talaga na nagkaroon through public-private partnership ng 10 machine dialysis center dito sa bayan ng San Jose, Partido,” he said.

So there was a big help through the public-private partnership of 10 machine dialysis centers here in the town of San Jose, Partido.)

“Sisikat kayo, pasisikatin ko kayo, as in ibabalita ko ito para malaman ng ibang mayors na may paraan pala para tumulong sa mga mahihirap na nagkakaroon ng end-stage renal disease o renal failure. Kita niyo? Kapag may pagmamahal may solusyon,” Herbosa added.

(You will become famous, I will make you famous, as in I will announce this so that other mayors know that there is a way to help poor people who have end-stage renal disease or renal failure. See? When there is love there is a solution.)

San Jose Mayor Jerold Peña, Health Undersecretary and concurrent DOH Bicol Regional Director Nestor Santiago, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and President of Renal Solution Plus Foundation Incorporated Maria Lourdes O. Briones. (Photo credits: DOH CHD Bicol)

The San Jose Partido Nephrozone Wellness Center stands as a pioneering venture in the Partido Area. It is the fruit of the collaboration between the municipal government and the Renal Solution Plus Foundation, Inc, represented by its president, Maria Lourdes O. Briones.

San Jose Mayor Jerold Peña, who strongly advocates for public health, said this new healthcare service is well-timed as it resonates with the Marcos administration’s eight-point economic agenda, which promotes a healthier nation and citizenry.

“We should remember also that the thrust of the President now is ‘Sa Bagong Pilipinas ang Bawat Buhay ay Mahalaga.’ So, the direction of the Department of Health (DOH) is to establish polyclinic centers in every province. Nagkataon lang po na nauna po tayo sa Bicol region na nag establish nito (It just happened that we were the first in the Bicol region to establish it),” Peña told the Philippine Information Agency.

“So in effect, we are helping the eight-point agenda of the President for this healthcare program,” he added.

Other officials who attended the inauguration ceremony were Health Undersecretary and concurrent DOH Bicol Regional Director Nestor Santiago, Camarines Sur Provincial Health Officer Rey Millena, Sagñay Mayor Jovi Fuentebella, Tigaon Mayor Pamela Rinah Fuentebella, and San Jose RHU head Arnel Armea. (PIA5)


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