Jokowi set to distribute 1.7m free health cards
Sita W. Dewi
The Jakarta Post
Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo says he will distribute the so-called Kartu Jakarta Sehat (KJS) healthcare cards to 1.7 million eligible beneficiaries this week, despite numerous problems affecting the much-needed program.
'I will distribute 1.7 million more [KJS] cards to Puskesmas [community health centers] in various locations in the city this week,' he said at City Hall on Wednesday.
Since the KJS program launch in November, the city administration has distributed around 3,000 KJS cards to eligible residents, while other eligible residents who have not yet received the cards can temporarily use KTP (ID cards).
'I will continue the program because many people need it. When we face any problems along the way, we can sit together and solve them,' he added.
He stressed that the program would continue, mainly because it was much-needed by Jakarta's residents. He admitted some weaknesses in the program but they could be well managed and either the system and its financing could be repaired.
The KJS scheme, which offers free third-class medical treatment, was designed to support 4.7 million Jakarta residents, comprising 1.2 million who are entitled to national health insurance (Jamkesmas) while 3.5 million others have been left unisured. To date, the Jakarta Health Agency has made an inventory of 2 million eligible beneficiaries.
Health agency head Dien Emmawati said the implementation of the KJS healthcare scheme was a prototype of the National Healthcare Program that would begin in January 2014 and be carried out by state-owned insurance company PT Askes under the 2011 Social Security Provider Law.
'My agency, in coordination with the Health Ministry, has set up an integrated team to evaluate this program's implementation. We meet every month to evaluate and monitor progress,' she said. 'In December, the team will conclude its job. Hopefully the system will be all set once the Social Security Provider Law comes into national effect in January 2014.'
Meanwhile, 14 hospitals that previously expressed their intention to withdraw from the program have suspended it after the city government vowed to revise the program and its financing.
The hospitals halting their withdrawal were Bunda Suci, Mulya Sari, Satya Negara, Firdaus Respiratory Hospital, Sukapura Islamic Hospital, Husada, Sumber Waras, Suka Mulya, Port Medical Hospital, Puri Mandiri Kedoya, Tria Dipa, JMC, Mediros and Restu Mulya.
Previously, two hospitals'Thamrin and Admira'had submitted official withdrawal requests after they could not cope with losses incurred covering the medical expenses of KJS patients, as the administration could only cover about 30 percent of the hospitals' claims.
Thamrin Hospital deputy president director Abdul Barry Radjak said his hospital would rejoin the program once the system was revised.
Dien added the agency and the Health Ministry would not increase the amount of individual monthly premium ' set at Rp 23,000 (US$2.37) ' higher than that of the national healthcare program, which was set at Rp 15,500.
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