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Jakarta's healthcare system set for boost
Publication Date : 15-03-2013
Jakarta's city administration is ramping up the Jakarta Health Card (KJS) scheme, which was launched in November last year by Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, to improve free health services for Jakartans.
All Jakarta residents are entitled to free third-class health services in 92 public and private hospitals across the capital under the KJS scheme.
The improvements include the recent launch of a 119 call centre number as an integrated information system and the expansion of third-class health service capacity.
“We have converted 351 second-class beds to third-class beds, so Jakarta now has more than 7,000 third-class beds,” Jakarta Health Agency head Dien Emmawati told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday.
She added that the agency aimed to have additional 1,500 third-class beds in total by next year.
“We also want to expand the capacity of puskesmas [community health centres] [by] adding about 250 beds to the existing 250 beds,” she said. “And we want to add the number of medics [...] Jakarta needs at least 400 more doctors.”
However, the expansion of third-class health service capacity would not necessarily solve the convoluted health service issue in the Indonesian capital, she said.
Dien pointed out that most KJS patients did not receive proper treatment because of a lack of information regarding available facilities in the city.
“A hospital cannot admit a patient if it doesn’t have a vacant bed. If there was an integrated information system, the hospital could easily find another hospital with available beds and suggest the patient goes there,” Dien said. “That’s why we launched the 119 call centre, which is in operation 24 hours a day.”
The need for an integrated information system became apparent following the death in February of baby Dera Nur Anggraini, whose family sought a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) but could not find one. Dera’s father visited 10 hospitals across the capital but none were able to admit the baby because they either had no NICUs or their units were full.
Jokowi said the city administration would be evaluating the KJS system next week.
“It was only recently launched; of course, there will be weaknesses here and there. We will keep on improving,” he said.
The governor recently cited the administration’s finding that some patients had not obtained the requisite letters of referral from a puskesmas in order to obtain free treatment at hospital.
“Some patients prefer to go to hospital at night. They would say they didn’t have a referral letter as the puskesmas had already closed,” he said. “Sometimes, puskesmas staff give away referral letters when they actually shouldn’t.”
City-owned Budhi Asih Hospital spokesman Monang Sirait said the number of regular patients had dropped by 90 per cent since the launch of the free healthcare system, “but not all patients using the KJS are from low-income families”.
Monang pointed out that the hospital could handle up to 1,200 patients a day.
“[The KJS] is a good program, but the administration should improve the referral system so that only those people who need and deserve free health services will get them,” he said.
Monang added that the administration’s plan to involve medical clinics in the system would help support hospitals in handling the surge in the number of KJS patients.
Sari, a mother of a 3-month-old baby boy, said she was pleased with the KJS system.
“I had a cesarean section three months ago, free of charge,” she said while holding her baby. “Yesterday, my son could not breathe and he was admitted to an ICU [also for free].”
She added that the service had improved as she was not left waiting for hours before being seen, unlike when the KJS system was first launched.