Given the prohibitive costs of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care for certain countries and the increasing incidence of ESRD worldwide, alternative methods of funding dialysis care are increasingly necessary. We describe the paradigm of the National Kidney Foundation of Singapore (NKF-S), the provider of subsidized dialysis care and comprehensive rehabilitative services to approximately 60% of all ESRD patients in the country, whose activities are funded entirely by charitable public donations. Unique to the NKF-S model are the considerations of the donor as an "investor" in the health care of NKF-S dialysis patients, the personal responsibility of the dialysis patient as a recipient of this "investment" to play an active role in achieving good clinical and rehabilitative outcomes, and the fostering of community-based support systems to facilitate patient rehabilitation such as partnerships with employers willing to employ dialysis patients. The success of the system is shown by its clinical outcomes, which approximate those observed in the United States. We believe that several aspects of the NKF-S model for ESRD care may be implemented in other communities, particularly in countries that have yet to develop financially and clinically mature dialysis programs.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company