Reported by Chiang Hui-Chun from Taipei
There is a huge population currently receiving dialysis treatment in Taiwan in spite of the fact that renal transplant is the best treatment option. Lee Po-Chang, Director General of the NHIA, expressed that renal diseases, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the three major chronic diseases in Taiwan. Inpatient dialysis treatments cost the NHI NT$45 billion a year, and the treatments for its complications cost the NHI NT$15 billion a year. The average annual cost of treating one dialysis patient is NT$550,000. Dialysis is not only costly, but also affects patients’ quality of life. On the other hand, renal transplant only costs the NHI NT$300,000 a year.
Chen Hong-Jun, the Honorary President of the Taiwan Society of Nephrology, expressed that renal transplant is the best treatment choice for patients as it can significantly improve their quality of life.
In order to encourage patients to undergo renal transplant, the NHIA offers an incentive to medical teams if they successfully persuade a pre-end-stage renal disease patient to receive renal transplant from a living donors instead of dialysis treatments. The incentive is NT$50,000 per case. This new incentive has been added to the “Care and Health Education Program for Pre-End-Stage Renal Diseases (Pre-ESRD) Patients”, said Lee Po-Chang.
Chen Hong-Jun, the Honorary President of the Taiwan Society of Nephrology, said that there are over 6000 patients waiting for renal transplant every year; however, only 300 patients undergo the procedure. The number of kidneys from dead donors is twice the figure from living donors. The association has made it the top priority to attract more living donors.
Chen Hong-Jun said the impact from renal transplant on living donors is trivial. As anti-rejection drugs are quite advanced, renal transplant is workable even between donors and patients who don’t share the same blood type.
【2017-01-20 / China Evening News】