Thursday March 30, 2023

Rising dollar-rupee disparity: Cost of dialysis up by 40pc in a few months, say experts

March 19, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Cost of dialysis and treatment of kidney ailments is constantly on the rise in Pakistan due to rising cost of ‘imported consumables’ used for the dialysis while the number of kidney patients is also rising due to increasing number of diabetics, hypertensive patients as well as consumption of contaminated water.

“Now dialysis costs around Rs5,500 per person against Rs4,000 a few months back due to increase in the prices of consumables used in the process of blood purification, while the number of kidney patients is constantly on the rise due to alarming rise in the number of diabetics and hypertensive patients in Pakistan,” said Dr Khalil-ur-Rehman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan Kidney Center at a fundraising event in Islamabad on Saturday.

Over Rs2 million were pledged for the purchase of dialysis machines, consumables for dialysis and purchase of equipment for the 50-bed hospital for kidney patients at the Pakistan Kidney Center, which is located in Abottabad and is providing healthcare services to people from far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.

Renowned poet Anwar Masood was the chief guest at the fundraising event, where he paid a rich tribute to Dr Khalil-ur-Rehman, a nephrologist who came to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia and decided to establish a kidney centre in an area from where people used to go to Islamabad, different cities of Punjab and Sindh for dialysis on a weekly basis.

He urged well-to-do of the society as well as common people to donate generously for the Pakistan Kidney Center, saying it was catering to the health needs of the common people, who could neither afford treatment at private health facilities nor they could go to big cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi on a weekly basis for the dialysis and treatment.

He also recited his poetry in his typical witty style and verses which mostly revolved around diseases, healthcare and economic issues of the country.

Pakistan Kidney Center CEO Dr Khalil Rehman later told the participants that now dialysis machines cost around Rs2 million against Rs1.4 million a few months back, while the cost of dialysis process has increased 40 percent from Rs4,000 per procedure to Rs5,500 due to rising cost of consumables. He also urged the people to donate generously for the poor patients.

He said the long-term use of strong painkillers except paracetamol, viral infections like Hepatitis B&C as well as diabetes and hypertension were major causes of kidney diseases and added that kidney stones also damage the kidney and people need to get dialysis and later kidney transplants for a normal life.

“We are starting a 50-bed hospital at our kidney centre, where kidney surgeries and kidney transplants would be started very soon but we need huge funds from the people,” he said, adding that they had carried out over 70,000 dialysis sessions at their centre, while over 100,000 patients were seen and treated at the dialysis centre.

Urging the people to adopt a healthy lifestyle, he asked the people to exercise daily, consume healthy diet, drink filtered water and stay away from the medicines that damage kidneys. He also urged them to donate generously to healthcare organisations which were facing a huge flow of patients due to lack of proper healthcare facilities in the public sector.

Several other healthcare professionals, including Dr Shahid Qadir spoke on the occasion, while a large number of people and philanthropists from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Taxila, Peshawar and Abottabad attended the fundraiser.