Eighty-four hemodialysis patients have received cheques valued at $600,000 each, to help subsidise their treatment expenses, as the government rolls out its dialysis treatment initiative for the year 2023.
Of the 84 beneficiaries, 15 are new patients.
The first payout exercise of more than $50 million, commenced on Tuesday at the Ministry of Health on Brickdam.
The administration has allocated $863 million in Budget 2023 to support those in need of medical treatment.
According to Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, this initiative is geared at providing financial support to persons suffering from kidney failure who require dialysis, a much-needed treatment for the management of their condition.
“Last year we introduce a programme where persons who are affected by kidney failure and have end-stage kidney disease receive an annual subsidy of $600,000, and I am very pleased that we will soon be paying out over $50M which will benefit some 84 patients,” he said.
While appealing to the general public to get registered if they require dialysis support, the Minister indicated that more persons are expected to benefit during the year.
“As far as I am aware, the reaction from most of the patients is that this has been quite helpful to most of them because, with the amount of money, we are now giving them, they can now access dialysis treatment in the various regions,” Dr Anthony pointed out.
The Health Minister highlighted that through close collaboration with private sector agencies, dialysis services have been expanded to Regions Two, Three, Four and Ten compared to previous years where patients requiring dialysis were forced to travel to the city to seek care and treatment.
Meanwhile, 27-year-old Christopher Sukha was pleased to have uplifted his cheque from the Ministry’s account department earlier this morning.
“This $600,000 will help me out a lot because I lost both my parents and I currently live with my aunt who cannot support me because this is an expensive procedure,” Sukha said.
Another dialysis patient, Neville Porter, 56, credited the kind gesture from the Government of Guyana for why he is still alive today.
“This subvention is a major help; I feel without this, I would have already been in my box (dead) already,” he stressed.
For Rajdai Rafikan, a 69-year-old widower, “the money is needed because the cost of taking dialysis is very expensive.” This initiative, she said, will ease the burden on her only daughter, whom she would usually solicit financial assistance to meet her weekly dialysis needs.
If a person has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the kidneys are unable to filter the blood to remove harmful waste products and excess fluids which are turned into urine to be passed out of the body. Dialysis treatment then becomes an alternative procedure to remove waste products and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. It is a process that involves diverting blood to a machine to be cleaned.
Last year, some 327 patients benefited from the annual $600,000 payout. Persons requiring support for dialysis treatment can contact the Ministry’s Medical Treatment Department on 225-0113 for more information on how they can receive financial assistance.