FACT CHECK: Dialysis now free for most Filipinos?


President Ferdinand Marcos claimed free dialysis for most Filipinos during his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 24. Art by Janssen Judd Romero/THE FLAME

CLAIM: “Mga kababayan, libre na po ngayon ang dialysis para sa karamihan ng Pilipino.”

RATING: Needs more context


In his second state of the nation address last July 24, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. claimed that dialysis sessions are now free for most Filipinos.

This claim needs more context as there are qualifications that one has to meet to avail of the free dialysis sessions.

Based on the no balance billing (NBB) policy of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), only NBB patients are qualified to avail of free dialysis above and beyond the packaged rates during their confinement period.

Those who are covered by the NBB patients’ privileges are: (1) indigent, (2) sponsored, (3) domestic worker or kasambahay, (4) lifetime and (5) senior citizen, which is in line with privileges under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The PhilHealth has said it would provide more hemodialysis sessions this year.

Under Philhealth Circular No. 2023-0009, Philhealth expanded the coverage for hemodialysis from 90 sessions to 156 sessions. However, the expanded benefit only applies to Philhealth members and their dependents who are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease stage 5.

President Marcos’ statement needs more context because he did not mention the qualifications of those who are qualified to benefit from the free dialysis sessions. F

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