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Indonesia healthcare buckling under strain

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 01:42

May 19 - As Indonesia scrambles to implement universal health care reforms, crowded hospitals in Jakarta feel the brunt, faced with more patients than they can handle. Sarah Charlton reports.

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Indonesia's public health industry is being pushed to the brink of collapse as the government tries to implement universal healthcare. When the initiative launched in Jakarta last year, millions were given medical access overnight. But the city's hospitals have been overwhelmed. Some doctors say patient numbers have soared from 300 to 700 every day. Lisa Darawati's twin daughters died in February from respiratory complications. They had been rejected from 10 hospitals which were either too crowded or lacked equipment. Critics say the government has failed to properly spread the programme's message, so patients flock to hospitals rather than going to clinics for referral. Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi says overcrowding is exaggerated. SOUNDBITE: (English) INDONESIA HEALTH MINISTER NAFSIAH MBOI SAYING: "Not many patients have been turned away. More patients have received treatment and good treatment. only few people were turned away and got big press. The situation is this --by law, emergencies cannot be turned away." The initiative, which aims to insure all 240 million citizens by 2019, will be the world's largest universal programme. In the meantime, it's expected to force some Indonesians to seek private care as millions compete for attention at public hospitals.

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Indonesia healthcare buckling under strain

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 01:42