June 23, 2024

The Cordillera Hospital of the Divine Grace (CHDG) in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet is the first health care institution in the Cordillera to be contracted by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to offer the P600,000-worth Type Z benefit package for kidney transplant.

Launched on June 2, the benefit package will cover eligible patients for kidney transplant, according to Officer-in-Charge of the Healthcare Delivery Management Division PhilHealth-Cordillera, Dr. Glenn Lamsis, who turned over the contract to CHDG.

Lamsis said the Z comprehensive package will cover the patients from the time of the transplant to confinement until their discharge from the hospital.

He said CHDG’s contract with PhilHealth as a kidney transplant facility started May 23 and ends on Dec. 31, 2024.

He said those who are 10 years old and below and 70 years old and above, other high-risk patients including those with paralysis or other diseases that may complicate the procedure are not included in the Z package. 

“The concept of the Z benefit package is to improve the quality of life. We are also looking at the high success rate of the procedure as our consideration. So, if there are big risks that would compromise our procedure, that’s one of those to be considered not to cover the patient,” Lamsis said but clarified that other patients who are not qualified for the Z package may still be covered by other packages of PhilHealth. CHDG has an assessment team to screen patients who could avail of the Z package.

CHDG Medical Director Virginia Biteng said the next hurdle is in educating the public about the importance of organ donation.

“My observation is that here in our locality, people are still hesitant to donate their organs, even to their loved ones,” Biteng said.

She claimed that a person can live with only one kidney, citing former President Fidel Ramos who had one of his kidneys removed when he was 22 years old due to tuberculosis. He is now 94 years old.

She said the risk is low for those who want to become an organ donor.

CHDG will conduct the kidney transplant of its first beneficiary of the Z package on June 12 in Leo Tome, 37 years old, from Quirino, Ilocos Sur. The patient was diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease in 2021. He will be the 19th kidney transplant patient of CHDG.

The private hospital, which is also the first Department of Health-accredited kidney transplant facility in the Cordillera, has conducted a total of 17 successful kidney transplants since October 2020. The 18th kidney transplant case was just operated on in May this year.

For more information about the PhilHealth Type Z benefit package or kidney transplant procedure at CHDG, contact: (074)-620-5692 or 0916-593-2042.– Ofelia C. Empian