Patients worry about VSMMC’s move to temporarily stop outpatient dialysis in April
Construction of new renal and transplant building will start then -- Vicente Sotto hospital
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Dialysis patients from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) have expressed their worries as the hospital’s Renal Care and Transplant Center will temporarily not accept outpatients to give way to the construction of a new Renal and Transplant building.
The new Renal and Transplant building will serve as an apex specialty center to cater to the number of kidney-related diseases for the people of Cebu and the Visayas region.
The construction activities will start in April this year and are projected to continue for the next 18 months.
In the hospital’s advisory, VSMMC will downscale its Renal Care and Transplant Center operation and shall accommodate only hospitalized patients and patients in need of emergency dialysis.
“As part of our preparations for this project, we have begun communicating and coordinating with our current patients and health facilities in the healthcare provider network for contingencies,” VSMMC’s statement read.
“We have also trained the staff at the dialysis centers of the Cebu Provincial Hospitals which shall make renal care more accessible to patients in the Province soon. Furthermore, we shall be working with local government units in localizing renal care for their constituents,” VSMMC said.
VSMMC also asked for understanding of the inconvenience that this building project might cause to their patients and the public.
Dialysis patient’s concerns
One of the affected patients, Nancy Abellana, 53, a resident of Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City, expressed her worries because she did not have enough resources to pay for her dialysis sessions every week.
“Feeling namo gipasagdan mi. Fragile naman kaayo ni among life. Wala jud mi atimana. Maski unta layo pa gipahibalo na mi karon na lang diay mi kutob. Di pa jud mi sure sa among LGU or mayor kon kasugakod sila motabang namo. Maypa gipatay na lang mi nila,” Abellana said.
(We feel that they have just let us be. Our life is so fragile now. They did not take care of us. They should just have informed us a long time ago that we can avail of the services only until this time. We are even not sure if the LGU or mayor can really help us for a long time. They should just have killed us.)
Abellana has been a dialysis patient for more than 2 years already. For every session, they are charged by the hospital an amount of more than P3,000.
In VSMMC, however, Abellana said that they would not be paying anything because of their PhilHealth package and the assistance of the Malasakit Center.
Originally, she said that she would undergo dialysis three times a week.
“Three time a week jud unta na, pero kay daghan man mi sa Sotto, nahug mana once a week pero luya na kaau mi ana,” she added.
(That should have been three times a week (dialysis treatment), but we are really many [availing of the service in] Sotto, so it really ends up only once a week, but at that time we are already very weak.)
Dr. Agnes Realiza, head of the City Health Office in Lapu-Lapu, confirmed that the city had around 27 dialysis patients in VSMMC that would be affected by the construction of the hospital’s new Renal and Transplant Center.
Aside from this, the Lapu-Lapu City Hospital doesn’t have the capacity yet to cater to dialysis patients.
Lapu-Lapu City lone district Congresswoman Cindi King-Chan, however, assured these patients that she would help them with their medical needs.
Medical Assistance to Indigent Patients
Lawyer Apple Collados, chief of staff of Chan, said that they would be offering a free dialysis session to these patients through the Medical Assistance to Indigent Patients (MAIP).
Collados said that patients could choose an accredited hospital or medical facility where they could have their dialysis session that would be funded by the Office of the Congresswoman.
“They can have their schedule didto. Then mobalik sila namo dinhi para sa hospital nga ilang napilian. Then amo silang ibutang sa MAIP nga assistance nya free na siya,” Collados said.
(They can have their schedule there. Then they can return to us here for the hospital that they have chosen (to get the treatment). Then we will put them in the MAIP, which is assistance, that is free.)
She said that currently, one dialysis patient of VSMMC has already sought their assistance.
Collados also urged other dialysis patients from Lapu-Lapu City to visit their office located at the Tourism Building at the City Hall Compound.
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