Chronic Kidney Failure Patients Protest

At least 1,000 patients with chronic kidney failure are organizing a protest outside the Government House in Tegucigalpa against what they consider a death sentence because of the country’s deficiencies in hemodialysis services.

The patients demand the payment of 50 million lempiras (2.5 million USD) to private-run firm Diálisis de Honduras, which is handling their cases, as they cannot get the service within the country’s public health system.

According to Dialisis de Honduras executive president Claudia Molina, due to the lack of payment, as of this week they will only provide two hemodialysis services, instead of the three the patients need.

Spokesman for the Association of Kidney Failure Patients, Valeria Sequeiro, said they will stage the demonstration on Wednesday and Thursday because if the debt is not cancelled the patients are virtually sentenced to death.

However, according to Health Minister Arturo Bendana, the bureaucracy is responsible for delays in payments in February-May, but that the “budget reserve is there and the payment will be effective.”

In the last few months, these patients have staged several similar protests to denounce the lack of nephrologists and medicines in public hospitals in Honduras, and hemodialysis is the remedy as they wait for the only cure possible: a kidney transplant.

The Honduran Social Security Institute can only allocate about 15 million lempiras (750,000 USD) monthly to treat about 260 patients.

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