Telangana Health Minister unveils policy paper on universal coverage of ESRD Nov 13, 2014

Telangana Health Minister Dr. T. Rajaiah has released a policy paper unveiling universal coverage of End Stage Renal disease (ESRD) in the state. Prepared by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), the policy paper is first of its kind that focusses on renal care and also acts as a blueprint for inclusion of other such services under universal health coverage.

“Telangana government is taking urgent steps for making a state program to control the epidemic of NCDs like hypertension, DM, chronic respiratory and CKD. This policy brief by PHFI, and methodology proposed is an excellent solution to highlight strategies for propelling policy and programme action using game-changing ideas to definitively address ESRD burden in India, making it affordable to all,” said, Rajaiah while addressing nephrologists, diabetologists and public health specialists in Hyderabad.

The policy paper mainly focusses on the peritoneal Dialysis (PD). According to PHFI, ESRD which is also referred to as chronic kidney disease (CKD Stage 5) has become worldwide public health problem. The population of India exceeds one billion and ESRD burden will continue to rise. Recognising that renal care is an important aspect that needs to be covered urgently, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has come out with a policy brief on the role of Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) in management of ESRD, which will act as a blueprint for the inclusion of such services in universal health coverage in the country.

The Policy paper proposes a new model of PD in rural areas. Here clinicians and patients have the security blanket of a trained ASHA or frontline health worker in rural areas to provide supportive supervision and if necessary intervention and guidance by the clinician. This increases compliance and can provide superior results in terms of PD.

The policy brief by PHFI provides the first estimate of ESRD incidence in a large population base, determines the contribution of diabetes to ESRD, and provides a basis for health-care policy planning. The policy brief outlines a plan based on national and global evidence and case studies which would ensure that such coverage is presented in a comprehensive manner and includes both prevention and treatment while ensuring financial feasibility. The paper not only presents PD as a treatment option for ESRD but it also balances equity, cost effectiveness, value and affordability, which are the components of universal health coverage.

According to healthcare experts, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem, both for the number of patients and cost of treatment involved. Globally, CKD is the 12th cause of death and the 17th cause of disability.