BARMM Parliament Member Amilbahar Mawallil. (Image lifted from Amilbahar Mawallil's Facebook account)

COTABATO CITY – A group of lawmakers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have filed a bill seeking to establish dialysis units in all government hospitals in the region.

BARMM Parliament Member Amilbahar Mawallil, the bill’s author, said the initiative is in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s announcement prioritizing health care and the decentralization of major hospitals from the capital to the provinces.

“Unfortunately, most of the kidney patients have to travel to nearby towns and cities to be able to get treatment,” Mawallil said in a statement Wednesday.

He pledged to push for the establishment of dialysis units in all government hospitals and the provision of free dialysis services to indigent patients.

However, the lawmaker conceded that most rural health units are dilapidated, worn-out, and under-equipped.

On Monday, Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address that he intends to establish heart, lung, and kidney institutes outside the National Capital Region in provinces across the country.

On Tuesday, Mawallil filed Bangsamoro Transition Authority Bill 95, which was backed by seven other parliament members.

The proposed measure seeks the provision of equipment, supplies, and staff, including nephrologists, dialysis and operating room nurses, and dialysis technicians in both peritoneal and hemodialysis, to meet patients' needs.

Once approved, dialysis patients in the BARMM will be provided with treatment free of charge.

According to the bill, priority would be given to indigent patients who have “no evident means of income, compensation, or financial assistance from family members to support their basic needs.”

The bill also calls on all government hospitals and stand-alone dialysis centers in the region to establish chronic kidney disease (CKD) prevention strategies and health promotion activities, including advocacy activities targeting relatives of dialysis patients who are at risk of developing CKD. (PNA)