La Union 1st District Rep. Pablo Ortega said he would submit a bill in the lower House to ask for additional dialysis machines in the province.
"Kasi 'yung mga private hospital sa La Union ngayon, hindi na rin nila kaya lahat. Ibig sabihibin, parami ng parami ang nagpapa-dialysis," he said.
Out of 304 patients with chronic kidney disease at the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, its dialysis center can only accommodate 64 patients.
ITRMC is the only government-owned hospital in La Union with a dialysis center.
Mila Grasya, a housewife who was diagnosed with kidney failure, relies on the social service she gets from ITRMC.
Dialysis patients in private hospitals usually pay P5,000 per session.
"At least dito po kasi maraming organisasyon na tumutulong. Dito na rin po ako nagsimula," Grasya said.
In public hospitals, a dialysis patient could avail of social services or financial assistance from various institutions, individuals, and organizations.
At ITRMC's dialysis center, there are only eight licensed to operate dialysis machines.
Some patients are left with no choice but to find other dialysis centers.
"We are in the process of expansion. Hinihintay nalang namin ang visitation ng DOH at hopefully mabigyan kami ng licenser to operate more machines so we can cater more patients" said Dr. Charmaine Joy Miquie-Almojuela, head of ITRMC's demodialysis unit.
She added that the main problem is the budget, wherein a machine costs almost P1 million.
"Hindi naman kasi 'pag may dialysis machine ka, machine lang. May mga ilan kasing consumables rin na ginagamit. Very expensive rin kasi ang pag-operate ng dialysis," Miquie-Almojuela said. - report from Marc Teomar Bautista, ABS-CBN News