Deliverance For Dialysis Patients
Tonight, 100 or so persons with kidney failure all across the country are breathing a sigh of relief, as government announced the details of a long-promised dialysis support program.
According to a release, Government has agreed to expand the current program to cover more than twice the number of patients with end-stage Renal failure.
Minister of Health Pablo Marin gave us the broad outlines of the program this morning in Belmopan:..
Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health
"For the people that have the renal failure, my objective is if I can help one person, I don't think that is right. We were given 3 dialysis sessions to a group of patients which were about 60 of them and then I saw another 40 of them that are struggling to pay one. I didn't see it right. So I started to look at all the different aspects of it and how I can change it. I know I had some people that were taking 3 and if they don't take the 3, then what will happen. So I used to say what happened to those that are not getting anything. And it took me a time, because we had people that were resistant to what I was trying to do and I had to show them exactly why was it that I am doing it, even though I have Glenn Tillett bombarding me. He doesn't know all the struggles that I am trying to reach this point which I will be doing next week. So that is my concern and for me to share it with every person that is receiving dialysis here in Belize. I'll give them 2. I think it's the best way to go and I am sorry I have to apologize to the people that are getting 3 and I have to reduce it to 2, but what happens to the rest of them? This is what I want the people out there to realize, what happens to the rest of them that are not receiving it? I cannot help the people that are getting dialysis outside of Belize. But the people that have it here. At the end of the day every single person that is suffering with kidney failure and getting the dialysis in country will get 2 dialysis each one of them. Even though I have to increase the budget a little bit more, and that's why I need to give thanks to the prime minister and the cabinet colleagues, because they look at it and they saw that yes, it is better for us to give 2, rather than not to give about 40 of them anything."
Contracts will be signed at a ceremony next week Monday.
So here's what will happen. There are currently four centers providing dialysis that meet what the Ministry has determined are acceptable standards for quality care. Those are the KHMH, the Loma Luz Hospital, the Miguel Rosado Dialysis Center at Belize Healthcare Partners, and Dialysis del Caribe.
Under this new deal, the Ministry will pay these providers for 2 dialysis sessions per week per patient. Most patients need three session, so they will have to pay the third session directly to the provider.