Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

UAE Helping Hands: Single mum struggles to pay for dialysis

Filipina can't afford the Dh2,700 weekly health costs on a salary of just Dh2,200

Jacky Pascolado was suddenly hit by kidney failure. Dialysis is costly and she has no health insurance. Christopher Pike / The National
Jacky Pascolado was suddenly hit by kidney failure. Dialysis is costly and she has no health insurance. Christopher Pike / The National

Just three months ago, 31-year-old Jacky Pascolado’s life took a turn for the worse.

In August, the single mother had returned from the Philippines when she unexpectedly fainted and was rushed into hospital.

She was diagnosed with kidney failure and immediately put on dialysis.

“Doctors told me that I had to have dialysis three times a week,” she said. “One dialysis session with the injections costs around Dh900.”

Jacky works for a free zone company in Dubai and earns Dh2,200 per month.

She has no health insurance and cannot afford her dialysis. Her current employer has agreed to help her pay for a few of sessions.

“My employer cannot pay for all my sessions and I am already grateful that they have helped me so far.”

Because of the high costs, Jacky has limited her dialysis to twice a week, although doctors have advised against it.

Jacky also cannot afford to go back to the Philippines where treatment is cheaper.

“What can I do?” she said.

“I don’t have the money to pay for them and need help. I am a single mom and with a ten-year-old daughter to support.

“If I go back to the Philippines it will be very hard for all us. I have nothing there. I will no longer be able to support her and my family. I need to work.”

The dialysis sessions are very hard but a necessity for her survival. During the four hour sessions she gets dizzy and lethargic and yet in spite of that she works every day of the week for eight hours.

“Without the dialysis I will die and without work I can’t support my daughter and family in the Philippines.

“My only worry now is finding support to help pay my treatment so I can continue to work and not be sent back to the Philippines.

“I work very hard to provide for them and give my daughter a better life,” said Jacky, who first came to the UAE five years ago where she worked as a nanny for two years before moving to the Dubai free zone company as an administrator.

Dialysis is free for Abu Dhabi visa holders but Jacky holds a Fujairah visa and has no health insurance.


Read more:

UAE Helping Hands: emergency surgery leaves uninsured woman with mountain of debt

UAE helping hands: Veteran UAE expat left homeless and in debt after job loss

UAE helping hands: The couple facing financial hardship after a tragic loss


“It is the responsibility of employers to make sure that their employees have medical insurance to avoid these situations,” said Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and Social Services at Dar Al Ber.

“Dialysis is very expensive and the costs are difficult for anyone without health insurance to shoulder.

“Sending Ms Pascolado back to her home country should not be how we resolve this situation.

“Ms Pascolado like thousands of other expatriates is here for a better life for herself and family.

“We hope that individuals or authorities would help support her treatment so she can continue working and supporting her daughter back home.”


Updated: November 5, 2017 09:18 AM