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The Financial Cost Incurred by Families of Children on Long-Term Dialysis

Background: Costs of dialysis reported in countries where dialysis is government-funded are often those incurred by the state, and only a few take into account the financial burden to the family of the index patient. This study investigated the financial cost implication to families of pediatric patients on maintenance dialysis and how aid provided by the government alleviates their financial burden. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study recruited 24 children on peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD), and a structured questionnaire was administered to the parents/caregivers of these patients to obtain information on their family size, total family income, cost of transportation, employment status of attending caregiver, and number of work days missed due to hospital visits. Results: Complete data were available for 19 patients (7 on PD and 12 on HD). The mean age was 14 ± 6 years, and there were 11 males and 8 females. The average monthly income of the families recruited was 2,946 ZAR (261 USD). This amount included the contribution of a monthly state-provided social grant of 1,300 ZAR (115 USD) in 16/19 subjects. The average monthly expenditure of the HD and PD groups made up 27.1% and 4.9% of their average income. Conclusion: Transport cost for our patients on dialysis significantly impacts on the overall family income, especially for patients on HD, and, without government aid, the families of our patients would have far less money available for their daily needs.

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
Sage Publications
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Journal Titles
Peritoneal Dialysis International
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