Please be consistent in considering chronic dialysis patients as PWDs
Chronic dialysis patients are PWDs too based on RA 7277.
Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons defines Disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more psychological, physiological or anatomical function of an individual or activities of such individual." While impairment in the same document, is defined as "any loss, diminution or aberration of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure of function."
In patients undergoing chronic dialysis, the kidneys fail to operate resulting in failure or loss (even more than just impairment or substantial limitation) of a physiological/anatomic function that is needed to support life. These patients are even called Chronic Renal FAILURE patients. Likewise there is an impairment of the activities of the said individual as he or she is restricted from any work such as lifting heavy objects and the low hemoglobin common in these patients will bar them from some of their usual activities especially strenuous ones. Dialysis patients may experience in various points of their life, difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, movement difficulties and pain. These patients will have to set aside time (4 hours per session at least) for their dialysis schedule sacrificing some of their usual activities.
Given this information and considering the fulfillment of the criteria in the definition, undoubtedly, chronic dialysis patients can be considered Persons with Disabilities (PWD) even if they appear to be physically okay with complete limbs and with no blindness. SSS even gives disability benefits to these patients.
Many dialysis patients currently are denied of PWD IDs
Unfortunately, many chronic hemodialysis patients when applying for PWD ID are not granted PWD status despite presentation of a medical abstract/certificate from the doctor or nephrologist. These includes patients with expired PWD IDs which were considered PWD before. How can those considered PWD in the past, be not considered PWD in the present time? Some of the reasons given are "you still appear OK. You can still walk...and the like. When does outward appearance become the main basis of giving PWD cards? Unfortunately, even those dialysis patients with "pamamanhid" or edema are not given PWD IDs.
Perhaps due to lack of proper information dissemination, some people appear to be puzzled also as to why dialysis patients are found in lines for PWDs in pharmacies and supermarkets.
Even if with PWD cards, some pharmacies do not grant discounts to dialysis patients
For some pharmacies, PWD classified as with chronic diseases are not included in those entitled for discounts. And dialysis patients have the label "chronic disease" as PWDs. But again looking at the definition of the magna carta, it is clear that dialysis patients are also PWDs.
Dialysis patients may appear "normal" but without dialysis, chances of survival is much lower compared to those without eyesight or without an arm since the absence of functioning kidneys is incompatible with life. The absence of functioning kidneys is like having NO kidneys at all. Like other PWDs, they need assistance, assistance which a PWD ID can help provide due to the benefits that come with it, like medicine discounts and dialysis discounts among others. All these benefits are of big value to dialysis patients who spend a lot for medications, erythropoietin injections, vaccinations and possible blood transfusions and hospitalizations.
We appreciate your support
And so we dialysis patients, humbly ask the Mayors, Baranggay Captains, other concerned personnel and our DSWD secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman who is also the Chair of the National Council for Disability Affairs to ensure the consistent and objective application by their personnel of RA No. 7277 to chronic dialysis patients, who based on the said Republic Art are actually PWDs. So that they too (like other deserving PWDs) may be able to avail of the entitled benefits given by virtue of the possession of a PWD ID card.
To the public, we are asking for your valuable support in this petition so that this issue will be brought to the attention of the concerned agencies and authorities. Your support will actually help save lives as the PWD benefits can help sustain the needed intervention and medications of these patients. Thank you and God bless.
- DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman, DSWD offices,
- Mayors, Baranggay Captains
- Randy Calsena
Please be consistent in considering hemodialysis patients as PWDs
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