Hospital ships to provide equal healthcare: Health Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said that his ministry wants to provide equal and the best possible access to healthcare for all Indonesians, including those in remote areas, by operating hospital ships.He made the remarks in a statement on Sunday regarding his review of the Ksatria Airlangga Floating Hospital (RSTKA), a hospital ship operated to increase access to health services in remote areas at Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). He said that one of the efforts to achieve the goal is through the issuance of a regulation that provides legal protection for organizers, medical personnel and health workers in the operation of hospital ships. This regulation also provides a legal basis so that the ships’ operations to be covered by the national health insurer BPJS Kesehatan. Sadikin noted that the ships help provide health services to people who live in the remote areas. “Moreover, the regulation will accommodate the government’s programs to support health services at the hospital ships,” he added. He expressed hope that the hospital ships will continue to provide equal access to quality healthcare to the people. Meanwhile, RSTKA Managing Director, Agus Harianto, said that the regulation on hospital ships is expected to inspire other institutions to participate in developing health services on ships. “Hopefully, what we are doing can be an example for other institutions to participate in building hospital ships and providing services on more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia,” he remarked. Since its first operation in 2013, RSTKA has provided many services, including 1,237 stunting screening services, congenital heart disease screening for 378 patients, and antenatal care (ANC) and ultrasound services for 998 patients. The ship has also provided otorhinolaryngology surgeries to 1,221 patients, neurology surgeries to 661 patients, dermatovenereology surgeries to 467 patients, cataract surgeries to 213 patients, and pterygium surgeries to 96 patients. Other specialized services include internal medicine care, medical rehabilitation, surgical services, provision of hearing aids, and circumcision services. Besides RSTKA, other floating hospitals are serving in remote areas, including the doctorSHARE Floating Hospital and the Navy Floating Hospital. Several health services are provided on board, including general services, maternal and infant mortality reduction services, maternal and child health services, ultrasound procedures, and early detection operations through screening for congenital heart disease, stunting screening, and various training for health workers in remote areas.

Source: Antara News Agency

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