By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado is seeking the establishment of a National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Bohol and Davao City to cater to the needs of kidney patients in the Visayas and Mindanao.
He sought the passage of House Bill No. 5261 to amend the Charter of the NKTI, which is the only government hospital specializing in renal diseases and organ transplantation.
“In general, patients from these geographical areas will really benefit from the establishment of these hospital facilities as they will not be burdened with additional expenses when they presently seek treatment at the principal office of NKTI in Quezon City,” Aumentado said.
The NKTI also serves as the center for referral of kidney patients from various regional hospitals nationwide and is recognized as the lead agency in voluntary blood services, he said.
The chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology said currently, there are around 70,000 patients on dialysis with thousands on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Of this, only 400 are able to undergo transplantation annually, the House leader said.
Under HB 5261, Aumentado seeks to establish an NKTI in Bohol and in Davao City to bring the quality and specialized medical services closer to kidney patients in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“In this manner, NKTI’s services will be available to all Filipinos in the countrywide since it will be located strategically and for the purpose of decongesting people who may have come from the different areas of the country, ” he said.
He said kidney disease, especially End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the seventh leading cause of death among Filipinos.
“One Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour or about 120 Filipinos per million population per year or about 10,000 Filipinos each year. More than 5,000 Filipino patients are presently undergoing dialysis and approximately 1.1 million people worldwide are on renal replacement therapy,” Aumentado said.
HB 5261 provides that the NKTI shall also establish and maintain hospital facilities to be located in Bohol for the Visayas and Davao City in Mindanao.
The facilities shall have a hospital director, who shall be under the supervision of the president of the National Kidney Foundation.
The bill seeks P1 billion funding to finance the operation and maintenance of each hospital facilities of the NKTI, including the land acquisition, construction, and acquisition of hospital equipment, furniture, fixtures, and personnel services.
The Board of Trustees is tasked to formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act, the bill provides.