NKF offers financial aid for peritoneal dialysis
In conjunction with the 1st Asia Pacific Conference on Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) held concurrently with the 33rd Annual Congress of the Malaysian Society of Nephrology (MSN), the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) launches a new funding program for peritoneal dialysis (PD) that aims to provide financial assistance to poor patients with end stage renal failure (ESRF) who opt for PD over other therapeutic modalities.
According to 2013 statistics, around 80% of patients undergoing PD were on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and 15% on automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), said board member of NKF Malaysia, Dr Lee Wan Tin. The bulk of patients on PD obtain treatment from MOH and university hospitals. However, budgetary constraints limit the number of patients for that treatment option.
Third party payers such as the Public Services Department, PERKESO, insurance agencies and Pusat Zakat assist with the payment of PD expenses for patients undergoing treatment in university hospitals and private medical centres. The NKF aids patients who are unable to get financial assistance from any other sources, he noted.
On average, the monthly cost of CAPD is RM2,400 to RM2,600, and RM3,300 to RM4,000 for APD, said Lee. The NKF’s PD financial aid programme will provide a maximum monthly subsidy of up to RM2,600 for hardcore poor patients and RM1,600 for financially poor patients who opt for CAPD. As for APD, the maximum monthly subsidy is RM4,000 for hardcore poor patients and RM3,000 for financially poor ones.
The subsidy will be provided for a year, and patients will need to manually apply for renewal as there is no auto-renewal policy, explained Lee. The application process is similar to the application for haemodialysis. Assessment for eligibility will take around 1 to 2 weeks.
There are various criteria for a patient to be eligible for consideration, such as being a Malaysian citizen or permanent resident, has ESRF and has been assessed by a qualified nephrologist as suitable for PD therapy, and will receive treatment from a PD centre which meets NKF’s criteria.
Additionally, there are criteria for the referring PD centre for the applicant to be eligible for consideration. Among them are: the centre has been in operation for more than 2 years, is providing PD therapy to more than 10 patients and has a designated lead clinician in PD who is a qualified nephrologist leading a multidisciplinary team. At the moment, the NKF has identified 11 PD centres that are eligible, namely University Malaya Medical Centre, UKM Medical Centre, Selayang Hospital, Serdang Hospital, Tunku Ja’afar Hospital, Sarawak General Hospital, Miri Hospital, Penang General Hospital, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan. The NKF is continuously assessing more centres to determine their eligibility.