Kidney failure comes at high financial cost for many Canadians

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 General News
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New report shows inequities in financial support for dialysis patients

MONTREAL, March 28, 2018 /CNW/

- A report released by The Kidney Foundation of Canada shows that a significant proportion of Canadians undergoing dialysis treatment experience financial hardship as a result of the extra costs associated with kidney
disease. Increased costs are mainly due to transportation to dialysis treatment and medication. 

In addition to the emotional and physical strain that often accompanies kidney failure, a financial burden exists that Canadian patients bear. This burden has been ignored for too long. Through an increasing number applications to its emergency short-term financial assistance program and discussions with social workers, The Kidney Foundation of Canada became aware of increasing financial need. It was evident that further investigation was needed; a patient survey was launched to gather more data. The Kidney Foundation of Canada released its Burden of Out-of-Pocket Costs for Canadians with Kidney Failure report today, making it clear that the financial hardships associated with dialysis are significant.

"As anticipated, we found there are gaps and inconsistencies for people on dialysis across Canada," says Elizabeth Myles, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "To help address this, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is calling on governments to act on our recommendations to address the financial burden of kidney failure experienced by Canadians and their families."

The Kidney Foundation of Canada makes the following recommendations to all levels of government to address the financial burden of kidney failure.

  1. Subsidize transportation costs and expand access to travel grants, particularly for people in rural areas.
  2. Minimize disparities in accessing medications for people with kidney disease and develop mechanisms to offset costs equitably across jurisdictions. 
  3. Provide adequate support for home dialysis through reimbursing utility costs and considering the financial and health literacy of patients when operationalizing "home first" policies.

Visit kidney.ca/burden to read the full report.

"The Canadian Association of Nephrology Social Workers was privileged to partner with the Kidney Foundation of Canada in administering the survey of dialysis patients," says CANSW president, Michelle Jensen. "Our members are passionate about this research and fully endorse the recommended actions."

The Kidney Foundation of Canada provides an emergency short-term financial assistance program to help bridge the gap for patients who may need to apply for subsidy programs or find alternative solutions as they consider treatment options.

About the Burden of Out-of-Pocket Costs for Canadians with Kidney Failure surveyThe Kidney Foundation of Canada, in association with Dr. Scott Klarenbach, Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, conducted the Burden of Out-of-Pocket Costs for Canadians with Kidney Failure survey in 2016 to obtain data that would provide evidence of the economic burden associated with dialysis, as well as how this might impact patients and the care they receive.  The survey was conducted online and via paper-based surveys administered by CANSW members in over 20 centres and was available in English, French and Chinese.

About The Kidney Foundation of CanadaKidney health and improved lives for all people affected by kidney disease - for over 50 years, this vision has guided The Kidney Foundation of Canada to be a collaborative, inventive and focused leader in the development of programs, services, research opportunities and awareness campaigns that have had a positive impact on the millions of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease.

The Foundation's National Research Program has grown to become one of the most important sources of funding for scientists conducting kidney-related research. The Kidney Foundation of Canada is also committed to providing education, information and support about kidneys and kidney disease.

For more information, visit www.kidney.ca.

SOURCE Kidney Foundation of Canada



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