“Basta para sa pamilya, gagawin mo ang lahat.”
Julius Bartolome, 41 years old, a real estate broker, and father of two lovely daughters is a resident of Mandaluyong City. He graduated at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Owing to his educational background, he easily found a job.
His wife Veronica, describes him as a hardworking and loving father to his children. A good provider is the perfect word to describe Julius as the head of his family. “Napakabait talaga niyang ama sa kanyang dalawang anak. Lahat gagawin upang maibigay ang kapritso ng mga anak,” narrated Veronica.
Julius discovered that he has a left kidney problem when he was 32. However, his physician told him that it can still be cured through medication. Although medicine cannot reverse chronic kidney disease, it is often used to help treat symptoms and complications and to slow further kidney damage.
Regardless of his condition, Julius continues to work to achieve his goal of being a good provider to his family. He exerts more effort in doing his job to support their daily expenses. “Wala na halos pahinga yan,” said his wife. He prioritizes his family in his life. “Ginagawa na niyang araw ang gabi upang kumayod,” she added.
For nine years, he delayed consulting a kidney specialist until almost all of their savings and property have been used up for his drug maintenance.
Kidney disease is usually a progressive disease, which means that the damage in the kidneys tends to be permanent and cannot be reversed. As a result, in October 2014, Julius was admitted at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute for kidney transplantation.
“Bago ang operasyon, ang dami naming dinanas na hirap. Di namin alam kung sino ang magdodonate ng kidney at saan kukuha ng gagastusin sa pagpapaopera,” recalls Julius. “Pero sabi ko nga kaya namin ito dahil kapit-bisig kaming magkakapamilya.”
Julius and his family started to worry about how they can cover the steep cost of the operation until one of the physicians informed them of PhilHealth’s Z benefit package for kidney transplantation. “Nawawalan na talaga ako ng pag-asa. Buti na lang andiyan ang Z package. Answered prayer talaga,” he said.
His eldest daughter, Vernice Joy volunteered to give her left kidney to his father. “Pasalamat talaga ako kay Lord at magkamatch ang kidney nila,” Veronica narrated. “Iba talaga pag may itinanim kang pagmamhal at susuklian din ito ng pagmamahal,” she added.
Julius expresses his gratitude to PhilHealth for the Z benefit package that he received.
“Ako po ay nakaavail ng Z package ng PhilHealth. Ni singko wala akong inilabas sa pagpapa-ospital ko. Yung gamot, laboratory at professional fee ng doctor na nag-opera sa akin almost lahat ay sinagot ng PhilHealth. Hindi ko akalaing makakaraos kami ng pamilya ko sa pagsubok na ito. Higit sa lahat nagpapasalamat ako sa PhilHealth because they gave me a second life,” stated Julius. “Siyempre di ko makakalimutan ang anak ko dahil siya ang nag-donate ng kidney para madugtungan pa ang aking buhay,” he added.
Julius returned to work last January 2015, determined to continue fulfilling his goal of serving and loving his family.
Kidney Transplantation is one of the Z benefit packages being paid for by PhilHealth at P600,000, which covers the total cost of treatment to ensure totality of care. Since PhilHealth launched it in June 2012, 237 members have already availed themselves of the package, with PhilHealth paying at least P 140,000,000.00 worth of benefits.
The benefit can be availed of in any the five (5) contracted hospitals nationwide, namely, NKTI in the National Capital Region, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Misamis Oriental, Southern Philippines Medical Center, in Davao City and Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City .
To avail themselves of the kidney transplantation benefit package, a PhilHealth member or a qualified dependent should pass the selections criteria and should be pre-authorized by the contracted hospitals before the services can be provided.
PhilHealth members who are not qualified under the said package can still avail themselves of the PhilHealth benefits under the All Case Rates when confined in any of its accredited hospitals nationwide. (END) (Dianna Marie S. Chua)