Kanjuruhan General Hospital: (Courtesy of infokepanjen.com)
Dozens of kidney patients in Malang regency, East Java, stormed the regency administration’s Pendopo (public hall) to protest at the discontinuation of the regional health scheme (Jamkesda) for dialysis treatment.
Patients can no longer have the treatment at Saiful Anwar General Hospital in Malang because the regency administration has not yet reimbursed the costs claimed by the hospital.
“The regency administration does not allow its citizens to be sick. We are very disappointed because hospitals refused us dialysis,” a patient, Yulaikah, said on Friday, as quoted by kompas.com
“Hospitals are worried that the regency will not be able to pay the bills.”
The patients also felt betrayed because in a previous meeting the Malang regency legislative council and the Kanjuruhan General Hospital referred them to Wava Husada and Ben Mari private hospitals, only to be rejected.
“The private hospitals refused to treat us because they were afraid that nobody would pay the bill,” said another patient, Rianti.
Yulaikah said most patients were now suffering from nausea and vomiting because they could not follow the schedules set by their doctors.
The Saiful Anwar General Hospital recommends the patients have dialysis twice a week which costs Rp 750,000 (US$79.74) to Rp 900,000 ($96.30) per visit.
Yulaikah said the patients were now losing hope and were prepared to die. “We no longer trust the government.”
Meawnhile, Malang Regency Health Agency chief Mursyidah refused to comment on the issue, saying the administration’s policy was beyond her power.
“All I can say is that Malang regency citizens should take better care of their health by leading a healthy lifestyle,” she said.
“If residents follow a healthy lifestyle, there will not be so many sick people and the Jamkesda fund will not be depleted so quickly.”
Kanjuruhan General Hospital director, Harry Hartanto, said his hospital only had six dialysis units which could treat 12 patients in batches.
The best solution, Harry said, was for the Saiful Anwar General Hospital to treat patients from Malang regency, adding that the regency administration was still looking for a way to solve the problem. “We ask the patients and their families to be tolerant.” (fzm/nvn)