Tumang leads opening of hemodialysis center

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MEXICO, Pampanga — The local government unit here has reached another milestone in its health care thrust.

On Thursday, Mayor Teddy C. Tumang led the blessing and inauguration of the hemodialysis center in the Mexico Community Hospital in Barangay San Carlos here.

The new facility, along with its equipment and machine, was built at a price tag of close to P70 million.

Twenty-four units of hemodialysis machines are installed and ready to be used after the screening of patients come Monday, Dr. Hilario James Cunanan, MCH Chief of Hospital, said.

Tumang said the hemodialysis building was constructed on a 2,000 square-meter lot within the MCH compound, which was established during the first nine-year term of Tumang.

The construction and purchase of equipment was funded by the LGU including augmentation of P32 million from projected business taxes that SM Primeholdings Inc. stands to pay to the municipal government.

Tumang said the center will cater to residents and non-residents of Mexico who are seeking free or affordable hemodialysis treatment.

During the inauguration, patients coming from as far as Arayat town came to the center in hopes of being the first to avail the free dialysis treatment from Pampanga’s largest and most modern hemodialysis center to date.

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) covers P2,500 of the cost per session to include payment for facilities and professional fees of attending physicians. This will last up to the first 90 sessions.

With Philhealth absorbing some of the cost, patients in other hemodialysis centers still have to pay close to P3,000 for the dialyzer and the required injectable medicine, epoetin alfa, that goes with the hemodialysis treatment.

At the MCH hemodialysis center, however, Mexico residents are given free dialyzers and only required to pay the injectable medicine at-cost for P300.

In-patient, non-residents of Mexico, on the other hand, have to pay half of the purchase price of the dialyzer plus at-cost for the injectable.

Tumang said a donor, whom he declined to name, purchased the injectable medicine, an epoetin alfa drug with brand name Epocino, for P300 and passed it on to the MCH for the same price.

Cost of injectable medicines, even those that are not considered top-of-the-line, ranges from P750 to P900 in other hospitals.

Prevailing price of dialyzers is from P1,800 to P2,000 but Tumang said they managed to purchase the best brand of dialyzers at P1,300 each.

“And these dialyzers and injectables are not of the cheap brands. We made sure that we will only be giving the best brands for the patients,” Tumang said.

Tumang said the P300 fee for the injectable is required to ensure steady replenishment of the drug for other patients to avail.

Vice Governor and acting governor Dennis Pineda said he will look for funds from the Capitol coffers to help patients on the expenses after the first 90 sessions covered by Philhealth.

The hemodialysis center is among the flagship projects under the Tumang administration which embarked on major projects such as the construction of the new municipal building, MCH and its expansion, and municipal fire station, among others.