A Call to Action:
Reduce the Financial Burden of Kidney Failure

Kidney failure comes at high financial cost for many Ontarians.

The ongoing theme of our advocacy messaging is Reducing the Burden of Kidney Disease in Ontario, focusing on two key issues all elected officials need to know about.  The Kidney Foundation of Canada recently released a report that shows a significant proportion of Canadians undergoing dialysis treatments experience financial hardship as a result of the extra costs associated with kidney disease. 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.

At a time when their kidneys are failing them, the fairness of our healthcare system is also failing individuals living with kidney disease.

The Issue

Many people receiving renal replacement therapy are unable to work in the same capacity as before their requirement for treatment because of how their symptoms make them feel and the time commitments related to their treatment needs and the additional medical appointment requirements.

• 45.7% of the Ontario respondents indicated that their income is below the Canadian Low Income Cut off (LICO)
• 46% of those who responded, indicated that their household income decreased dramatically after the initiation of dialysis treatments. For those whose household income had decreased, 51% of respondents indicated that their household income decreased by 50%.
• 49% of the Ontario respondents indicated that their annual household income was less than $35,000 and 31% indicated that their household income was less than $20,000.
• There are increased out-of-pocket costs related to travel expenses to and from dialysis treatment centres, especially in rural areas or where there is a lack of access to available, accessible and affordable public transit systems.
• The proportion of patients on dialysis who are below Canada’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) is much higher than the general population.
• 36% of patients who are below the (LICO) indicated that they have missed purchasing medications and 33% reported that they had missed going without food or basic necessities within the last 6 months of completing the survey.

Personal Stories

Ontario Recommendations

  • Develop a Medical Transportation Assistance Program to subsidize transportation costs to attend dialysis treatments, where there is no access to available, accessible and affordable public transit systems.

  • Reduce the financial burden of accessing medications for people receiving dialysis treatments by eliminating the Trillium Drug Benefit Deductible.

    These relatively small changes can have a significant impact on improving the quality of life for those living with kidney disease.

Take Action

  • Download the Advocacy Tool Kit
  • Engage with your local elected officials, including MPPs, Minister of Health, Mayor and City Councillors
  • Visit the MPP in your riding (Click here for a list of MPPs and Ridings)
  • Send a letter to your MPP, Minister of Health, Opposition Critic- Health (download sample)
  • Write a letter to the Editor in your local newspaper
  • Tell us about your experience. How has kidney disease caused a financial burden for you and your family? Email shannon.fogarasi@kidney.ca to share your story.
 advocacy tool kit

Read the National Report

  • Many Canadians report a drop in household income as a result of starting dialysis.
  • The proportion of patients on dialysis who are below Canada’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) is much higher than the general population.
  • Out-of-pocket costs related to dialysis treatment are a significant burden.
Financial Burden Report cover page

 

Ontario Branch - 1599 Hurontario Street, Suite 201, Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1 - Tel.: (905) 278-3003 / 1-800-387-4474
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001