Free dialysis in KP from next month
PESHAWAR, Feb 7: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is to begin free dialysis programme at the province’s seven hospitals early next month.
The relevant officials told Dawn on Thursday that the government had allocated Rs60 million for free dialysis of all those with failed kidneys, mostly the people, who were unable to afford the costly, lifelong procedure.
They said the money had been released by the finance department, while other formalities were being met to formally begin the programme in early March this year.
The officials said every kidney patient underwent one to three sessions of haemodialysis with each costing more than Rs5,000 and thus, suggesting weekly expenditure of Rs15,000.
They said kidney patients often died due to their inability to continue with dialysis, a lifelong treatment.
According to them, the government had planned to use the interest from the health department’s endowment fund for free treatment of kidney patients.
However, it later dropped the idea and allocated separate sum of money for the purpose.
The officials said the health department first collected data of kidney patients from all hospitals of the province and then decided to allocate funds for their extended free treatment.
They said free dialysis would be offered to all kidney patients at Institute of Kidney Diseases, Hayatabad, Government Lady Reading Hospital and Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar, Mardan Medical Complex, Mardan, Saidu Group of Hospitals, Khalifa Gul Nawaz Teaching Hospital, Bannu and District Headquarters Hospital, Haripur regardless of their financial position.
“The patients will not be required to present Zakat certificates. The only thing they require will be proper prescription and diagnosis from specialist doctors,” an official said.
The officials said the department had first thought about offering free dialysis to poor patients only but later changed its mind considering the lengthy procedure to secure Zakat certificates from the relevant offices.
The officials said the funds allocated for the programme, first of its kind in the country, were enough to cater to the needs of around 10,000 patients in the province annually and that they would be increased to Rs100 million next year.
They said around half of the sufferers of chronic kidney disorders died due to their inability to bear treatment cost.
“We have also planned to create public awareness of free dialysis so more and more people avail themselves of it. Banners about it will be displayed at government hospitals,” an official said. The officials said the only way to treat kidney problems was transplantation but majority of the patients didn’t opt for it first because it was costly and second it was not readily available in the province.
They said the government would supply free medicines to kidney patients and tenders for procurement of these medicines had already been floated.