Palau has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, according to President Surangel Whipps Jr. State of the Republic Address ( SORA) in April. 

In 2021, Palau’s Non-Communicable Disease “Hybrid” Survey shows that 22.2% of adults have diabetes and 36% are almost there — meaning that nearly half of Palau’s adult population is affected by diabetes.  

President Whiipps said Palau is acquiring  additional hemodialysis to help  hemodialysis patients which have grown from 29 in 2013 to 45 recently. 

In 2021, Palau is down to 6 working hemodialysis machines from 9, 

Out of 9 machines, two are beyond repair, one is awaiting parts and 6 are operational.  

Senator Jonathan Isechal, wrote President Surangel Whipps Jr. asking to him to do everything in his power to procure an additional hemodialysis machine for the Dialysis Unit at the Belau National Hospital.

Senator Isechal warned that if another dialysis machine breaks down, “hemodialysis patients would face dire and life-threatening situations.”

Diabetic patients receive treatments 2 to 3 times a week and each session last between 2 to 4 hours each,  The Dialysis Unit runs 6 days a week with one day for the equipment to be cleaned and serviced.  

Hemodialysis treatment is one of the few services excluded from the National Health Insurance and patients have to receive the treatment at the Belau National Hospital at their own expense. 

Treatment was excluded under RPPL 8-16 due to its high cost and financial unsustainability.

Senator Isechal asked President Whipps to tap into the Hospital Trust Funds to procure the equipment which he said is in line with the Trust Fund’s medical emergency mandate.

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