Senator Bong Revilla on Tuesday called on all hospitals nationwide to continue operations of the dialysis and cancer centers, amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It is not easy to pass through our country. As our war goes on against COVID-19, our economy is losing momentum. More importantly, the lives and safety of many of our countrymen are at risk,” said Revilla in a statement.
“We all know that cancer and kidney disease remain leading causes of death in our country. Like COVID-19 patients, cancer and kidney patients are running out of time so their chemotherapy and dialysis sessions and medical protocols cannot be abolished. They have to obey,” he said.
“It is sad to think that treating cancer and kidney patients has become much more lenient since implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). According to some reports we received, some cancer patients had to walk for hours just to get to the hospital. Others have been declared cancer-free, re-developing cancer cells since skipping chemo sessions, while some have refused to go to hospitals for fear that they will be infected with COVID-19 that will exacerbate their disease,” he said.
“I urge all hospitals in the country to comply with DOH Department Circular No. 2020-0162 (March 27, 2020) which sets forth the continuation of Dialysis Services, including Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis, in our Dialysis Centers nationwide. You cannot postpone or reject dialysis patients who need immediate treatment,” he said.
“I would like to urge DOH and DILG to implement new guidelines to make our cancer and dialysis patients more accessible to checkpoints, as well as distributors who complain that they are struggling to drop cancer drugs in different hospitals,” said Revilla.
“In our LGUs and in the private sector, we will continue to work together to provide our cancer and kidney patients with free transportation, especially those in the province who need to be rescued in Manila. This has been a great relief to them,” he said.
“To our cancer patients, the PGH Cancer Institute remains open to you. The PGH leadership has made sure to check the disinfection of their facilities to ensure that you are not exposed to and treated COVID-19 patients. If you are looking for alternative treatment, Healthway Medical is temporarily opened in Greenbelt 5, Makati City as a Chemotherapy Infusion Center where you can continue treating your oncologist,” said Revilla.
“Please note that cancer and kidney patients have a double cross at this risky period. Nearly 75% of them need financial help because their relatives have lost their jobs due to lockdown. Let us make sure that they are not In these perilous times, let us courageously give them strength, inspiration and new hope to fight,” he said./Stacy Ang