Dr Lee: Number of dialysis patients expected to hit 50,000 by next year

IPOH: There are more than 39,000 patients nationwide who require dialysis treatment and the number is expected to grow to 50,000 by next year, says Dr Lee Boon Chye.

The deputy health minister said in 2016, the government spent RM1.6bil on dialysis costs at its facilities.

He said the cost was not only a burden to the government, but also to the patients.

Dr Lee said with the increase in patients, the cost would also definitely escalate as well.

“From the figures, 33% of patients received treatment at government facilities, 47% at private hospitals, and another 20% at non-governmental organisations.

“For non-profit organisations, the government provides a RM200,000 grant to build a haemodialysis centre.

“As for poor patients seeking treatment at such centres, they are eligible to receive RM100 aid for each dialysis treatment,” he told reporters after launching the state-level World Kidney Day celebrations here Saturday (March 30).

Dr Lee, however, said more people are coming forward to get medical examinations done, and this could be one factor in the increase in the number of patients.

“It is very important to get early medical checks done regularly to prevent and treat diseases such as diabetes and high-blood pressure, and to reduce the risk of renal failure.

“We need to always be healthy, eat right, and exercise often to prevent serious illness from occurring,” he added.