Marcos vows better access to kidney dialysis, sustained support to NKTI

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wants to make dialysis treatment readily available to Filipinos as he deemed it crucial in lowering deaths and disabilities caused by kidney diseases in the country.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. signs a photograph from a dialysis patient Richard Hofileña, 51, during his attendance at the 40th founding anniversary of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) on Feb. 6, 2023. (Noel B. Pabalate)

Speaking at the 40th founding anniversary of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) on Monday, Feb. 6, Marcos said it is his administration's "ultimate goal" so he committed the institution his support to all its endeavors.

"With many deaths attributed to kidney disease in our country, it is imperative that we ensure that dialysis treatment will be readily available, accessible, and cost effective for our fellow Filipinos," Marcos said in his speech.

"The ultimate goal is to lower the death and disabilities associated with kidney disease and kidney failure especially for those who are not able to access dialysis treatment due to the high cost," he added.

The President said the government owed the NKTI for providing affordable and timely diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation to its patients.

He also asked the institution to continue "being catalyst to the universal healthcare by innovative solutions that decrease our country’s mortality rate in kidney diseases."

"For all these reasons we owe you a debt that cannot be repaid and we will see to it that your institution gets all the help that is necessary for its advancement and its progress," Marcos vowed.

"e are committed to supporting NKTI in all these noble endeavors and together I am confident that we can rise to the challenge of fighting kidney and renal disease so that our people can live better, live longer lives," he added.

The chief executive has conveyed his appreciation for the institution that has catered to almost 400,000 patients since its establishment in 1983 as well as to all doctors, nurses, and personnel of NKTI for providing quality renal care and alleviating the suffering of Filipinos with kidney disease.

He also highlighted the contribution the NKTI made in the Covid-19 pandemic response.

"I had to come because besides all the good work that the institution has been doing in terms of treatment, in terms of transplant, in terms of teaching, in terms of research, bukod pa dun sa palagay ko kailangan kailangan pasalamatan natin ang mga staff, medical and non-medical, dito sa NKTI dahil napakaganda ng kanilang performance nung pandemic response. Kaya't ako nandito para kahit papano ay malaman nila na hindi sila, hindi yun kanilang sakripisyo ay hindi naman kinakalimutan at naramdaman ng lahat ng Filipino (aside from that, I think we really need to express gratitude to the staff, medical and non-medical, here at NKTI because they did a great performance in the pandemic response. I am here to at least let them know that we are not forgetting their sacrifices are not and are felt by Filipinos)," Marcos said in an interview after his attendance at the event.

From only having a two-ward with 50 bed facility, the NKTI has now grown into a five-building complex with 383 beds, providing round the clock emergency services to Filipinos.