The Jakarta Post
People in Central Java say they have no idea about the mechanism of the new national health insurance (JKN) program, managed by the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS), or the application procedure to obtain coverage.
Rizki Akbar, from Ungaran in Semarang regency, said he had been forced to go to the Dr. Kariadi Hospital in the provincial capital city of Semarang because officials at his subdistrict administration could not explain the details of the new program, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2014.
'I know nothing about it,' Riski said while visiting the hospital on Thursday to seek information about the BPJS health program.
Aminah from Semarang expressed a similar experience, saying that she had heard about the program on the television, but there was no clear information about the health insurance.
'Even the television programs do not provide information that is easy for people to understand,' Aminah said.
Spokesman for the Dr. Kariadi Hospital, Darwito, said the hospital faced some challenges in implementing the new health insurance program, especially with regard to the change in administration from the former providers (Jamkesmas, Askes, Jamsostek and so on) to the new BPJS.
'We still need to adapt,' Darwito said.
He also expressed the hospital's objections to the claim levels determined by the government, which it considered were too low. The government, he went on, only allocated between Rp 3 million (US$249) and Rp 9 million for chemotherapy.
'In fact, the medicine needed for that treatment is expensive,' he said without mentioning the actual cost.
Darwito added that the hospital was looking for a way to deal with these challenges.
Data from the Central Java Health Agency shows the province is home to 17.89 million JKN beneficiaries. Of them, 14.15 million are Jamkesmas holders, 2.6 are Askes holders, 570,000 are members of the TNI/police and 571,000 are Jamsostek holders.
The agency's head, Anung Sugihantono, said the JKN beneficiaries could make use of the health facilities prepared for the program at 873 community health centers (Puskesmas), 57 state hospitals and 193 private and TNI/police hospitals.
In other cities in Central Java, people are also flocking to nearby hospitals to register themselves for the program.
In Sukoharjo regency, for instance, the Sukoharjo Regional Hospital served between 200 and 300 people per day.
Sudarmi, a Sukoharjo resident, said she had decided to register herself and two of her family members.
For this, she has to pay Rp 42,500 per month for second-class health services. She said she did not mind paying the monthly payment as long as the services were good.
'I need money to undergo an operation but I can't afford it. If the BPJS health program lives up to its description, I will benefit from paying the monthly premium,' Sudarmi said.
The same picture can be seen in Klaten. The Klaten Islamic Hospital has been providing health services to some 180 outpatients and 30 inpatients since the start of the month.
The hospital's spokesperson, Agus Susanto, said these patients were previous Jamkesmas holders. 'The number is about the same as that before the new health insurance program was introduced,' Agus said.
He also expressed his hope that the government's payments on health claims would run smoothly without getting into arrears.
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