Third payout for dialysis assistance rolls out

Over the next few days, 105 hemodialysis patients will receive cheques valued at $600,000 each, to help subsidise their treatment expenses, as the Government of Guyana rolls out the third dialysis treatment initiative payout for 2023. Of the 105 beneficiaries, 51 are new patients.

The third payout exercise of $63 million, commenced Wednesday at the Ministry of Health on Brickdam, Stabroek.  The first payout for this year was executed in February when 84 patients benefitted while the second was done in April when 62 persons benefitted.

The administration has allocated $863 million in Budget 2023 to support those in need of medical treatment.

During Wednesday’s exercise, the Honourable Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health spent time interacting with some of the beneficiaries and lending words of support to persons suffering from kidney failure, who require dialysis, a much-needed treatment for the management of their condition.

“Today we are giving 105 persons a cheque of $600,000 each to help them with their dialysis session; so for this year already, 297 persons have benefited from this annual subvention,” the minister said.

While appealing to the general public to get registered if they require dialysis support, the Minister indicated that the process is very simple but requires verification and assessment of the patient’s condition at the Nephrology Department at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

“Once the doctor determines you have end-stage renal failure, he issues a letter to that effect which is verified by our physicians at the GPHC. A request is then prepared and the necessary documentation is prepared and presented to the Ministry of Health to get to process started”, Dr Anthony explained. 

The Health Minister highlighted that through close collaboration with private sector agencies, dialysis services have been expanded to Regions Two, Three, Four, and Ten compared to previous years where patients requiring dialysis were forced to travel to the city to seek care and treatment.

Meanwhile, 42 Antonio Lall was pleased to have uplifted his cheque from the Ministry’s account department on Wednesday morning. 

Antonio Lall, a dialysis patient receives his cheque from Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health

“I’ve been on dialysis for two years now and it’s not easy especially when you require this treatment and it’s so expensive. I would like to thank the Government of Guyana for providing this assistance to the dialysis patients, it’s a great help”, Lall said.

 Another dialysis patient, Jane Chichester, 70 years of age, who is a second-time beneficiary applauded the kind gesture from the Government of Guyana.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony hands over a cheque valued at $600,000 to Jane Chichester for dialysis assistance

“Thank you to the Government of Guyana for providing this service, it’s a great help, and I’m very glad for the assistance. This is my second time receiving the grant”, she said. 

For Eaiseaiedayal Ramsarak, a 57-year-old of Berbice, “the help is needed because the cost of taking dialysis is very expensive and she does not have a partner to help support her financially”. This initiative, she said will ease the burden on her only daughter and other relatives, whom she would usually solicit financial assistance to meet her dialysis needs.

If a person has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the kidneys are unable to filter the blood to remove harmful waste products and excess fluids which are turned into urine to be passed out of the body. Dialysis treatment then becomes an alternative procedure to remove waste products and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. It is a process that involves diverting blood to a machine to be cleaned.

For the year 2022, some 327 patients benefitted from the annual $600,000 payout.

Persons requiring support for dialysis treatment can contact the Ministry’s Medical Treatment Department on 225-0113 for more information on how they can receive financial assistance.