Fauzi Tells Hospitals to Think of the Poor
Lenny Tristia Tambun
Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo has stepped up efforts to ensure that the city’s underprivileged have proper access to health care, in a move that comes as polling day for next month’s gubernatorial election draws nearer.
Addressing hospital officials at a briefing on medical services for the poor on Monday, Fauzi said hospitals should not make things difficult for or reject patients covered by the city’s health care cost-sharing scheme (SKTM) or who receive a special health care allowance for poor families (JPK-Gakin).
“No patients from underprivileged families should be rejected by regional hospitals,” he said. “Please ensure that bureaucratic matters don’t prevent poor people from getting quick access to optimum and reliable medical services.”
The city administration lets community health centers manage the funds it gives them so they can best tailor their spending to their own specific conditions, he said.
Community health centers and regional hospitals should work toward meeting ISO 9001:2008 standards, he said. Around 170 community health centers in Jakarta have received ISO certificates, he added.
“The Jakarta administration has allocated a huge amount of money for subsidies to improve the quality of medical services, especially for people from lower-income families,” he said.
The city administration has allocated Rp 900 billion ($95.4 million), or 8 percent of its annual health funding, for services for underprivileged patients, he said.
The city has also converted 1,300 SKTM into JPK-Gakin as part of its efforts to widen health care access for poor people.
“This means that 1,300 people from underprivileged families can now enjoy free health services,” Fauzi said. “Previously they had to pay between 25 percent and 50 percent of the total medical expenses at regional hospitals or community health centers.”
Fauzi has recently received an unusual amount of positive press. Last week, for example, all five Jakarta municipalities received Adipura Awards for being “clean and green,” despite frequent complaints to the contrary and the fact that they won nothing the previous year.