He said the Government provided aid and support to lighten the burden of kidney disease patients by channelling funds to the Government's dialysis centres and those run by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
"Government agencies, including the Civil Service, Social Security Organisation and the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department will also provide subsidies to patients at dialysis centres through a reimbursement system," he said when opening a forum on "Improving Your Quality of Life" organised by NKF. His speech was read by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah.
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference later, NKF Board of Directors Chairman, Datuk Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher, said the NKF will set up a dialysis centre in Tawau by the end of this year and plans to build another in Menggatal next year.
He said the decision to set up a dialysis centre in these areas was based on the high demand for the service.
"The NKF and Sabah Islamic Religious Council (Muis) are currently discussing to get approval from the relevant ministry to set up a dialysis centre in Tawau.
"This is to make it easier for patients to receive treatment," he said.
Dr Zaki Morad said Sabah only had two dialysis centres, namely in Kota Kinabalu with 11 dialysis machines treating 66 patients and in Sandakan with 12 machines treating 14 patients.
"Currently, there are not enough dialysis centres in the State to cater for patients. The number of patients is increasing every year, so the number of dialysis centres is still not enough," he added.
According to him, 60 per cent of new patients accepted for kidney dialysis were diabetic and over 20 per cent suffered hypertension.