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Assistance for Kidney Patients

Offering timely assistance to relieve suffering

According to official reports, each day, in Singapore, there is an average of five new cases of kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. Before a transplant is possible, the patients rely on dialysis for survival.

Tzu Chi discovered that some kidney patients had to wait as long as two to three months for disbursement of funds after applying for subsidies for dialysis from other organisations, and fell into financial hardships as they were unable to afford the expensive treatments. Moreover, there was also quite a number of Tzu Chi aid/care beneficiaries that were also suffering from kidney disease. Thus, the Foundation launched the Dialysis Assistance Programme in April, 2005. The programme provides assistance to needy kidney patients regardless of race and religion, and is available to both Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Patients may apply for the assistance through medical social workers, and each case will be assessed by a Tzu Chi home visit team.

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Tzu Chi also provides transport allowances for patients with mobility problems who are unable to afford the transport costs of travelling between their home and the dialysis centre.

Home visit teams will make care visits to beneficiary patients once a month, to monitor their health conditions as well as to give them moral support. Patients who are in need of further financial aid will be referred to the Foundation.

Stories of Love and Compassion 

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The Three Elderly Siblings

As a result of his long-term need for dialysis, Xu Fu De, an elderly kidney patient, started receiving care visits from Tzu Chi volunteers in 2007, and subsequently received a higher amount of government aid through the volunteers’ assistance. He received full coverage for his dialysis treatments from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), while the transport costs for his treatments were funded by Tzu Chi. He lived with two other unmarried elderly siblings. His elder brother, Xu Fu Chen, who was aged above 80 years old, was the pillar of support for the family. He would buy breakfast for his younger siblings and accompany them for their medical appointments.  

After Xu Fu Chen passed away in 2013, Tzu Chi volunteers started playing the role of the oldest sibling in the family, taking turns to deliver three daily meals to their home, and seeing to the daily needs of the two other elderly siblings. Later, the Foundation partnered with other social service organisations to provide the necessary care for them. In June 2014, Xu Fu De passed on due to a lung infection, and volunteers helped to make arrangements for his funeral. Concerned about the younger sister (remaining sibling) Xu Wen Di’s daily living needs, volunteers living nearby visited her frequently to give her care and support, until they found a suitable nursing home that admitted her. 

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