Govt aims to improve community health centers
Bali’s provincial administration says it will spend more on its free Bali Mandara health insurance plan to raise salaries and improve medical treatment at the isle’s 130 Puskesmas community health centers.
Bali Health Office head I Nyoman Sutedja said many people were reluctant to seek medical treatment at community health centers on fears of poor service and short working hours.
“Community health centers actually function as the first option for the people who want immediate medical service as the centers are located in every village and district. Therefore they should be accessible to everyone,” Sutedja said.
In reality, people prefer to go to regional and private hospitals in hopes of receiving better treatment and service, he added.
Sutedja said that under the Bali Mandara insurance plan, which started in 2010, residents holding valid Bali ID cards were entitled to free medical treatment at community health centers and government-owned hospitals.
Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar, 130 community health centers, eight regional hospitals, an ophthalmological hospital and a psychiatric hospital in Bangli all provide free medical care to those covered by Bali Mandara plan.
“We plan to raise the salaries of the medical staff at community health centers to motivate them to give better healthcare to their patients.”
Those not covered by the Bali Mandara plan must pay a 30 percent premium for medical care at the community health centers, Sutedja said.
Nedrawati, who said she was a frequent visitor Bali’s community health centers, complained about poor service. “We have to wait for quite a long time because there are only limited number of employees to take care of patients,” Nedrawati said.
People who have money prefer to go to private clinics or larger hospitals in the city, she said.
The administration disbursed only Rp 14 billion of Rp 44 billion allocated to the Bali Mandara plan in 2010 due a lack of patients who utilized the insurance scheme.