Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poor people can't afford to be ill

Condition applies only in Indonesia.

Came across many articles about ill people who happened to be poor being rejected by hospitals or didn't get proper treatment just because they don't have money: here, here , and here (sorry all articles are in Indonesian). Shame on those hospitals, I thought hospitals supposed to be the place to help people, the place that you can count on once you're ill, no matter what rich or poor.

Being poor is not their choice, it's the condition made them like that, if they can change their destiny I bet they would.

My colleague told me story that her uncle's construction worker fell off the stairs and broke his bone, when they checked him up at RSPP, the hospital said that he has to wait for 2 weeks for the surgery... but... if he can pay more money to upgrade the class then the hospital can do the surgery ASAP, WTF...

I also heard stories that the hospital insists to receive certain amount of money at the registration/administration area otherwise they won't proceed with treatment.

Is it because government didn't subsidize hospitals or what?

You may find related articles: here, here, and here

What should those poor people do when they're ill?

Where should those poor people go when they're ill?

Sad, sad situation. I am really sorry for them :(


Anonymous said...

ever heard the movie "Sicko" apparently even in USA noone get a decent medication as well.

Anonymous said...

We could encourage the young to do better. Work harder. Study more. That way, the future can be changed. One person at a time. That could make a difference.

Anonymous said...

That's just sad. Being poor and living in Indonesia is a dangerous combination. I had a similar discussion with my friend about this, it's like a vicious circle, being poor means you cannot access basic facilities like education, health and stuff and your kids will end up being poor too because you cannot improve your life's condition/situation. Sad!

Jangankan sakit, mereka aja kadang yang gak mampu makan sekali sehari :(

Katadia said...

Ecky.. yes, a sad situation indeed. One thing that we can do though is to buy private health covers for people who work for us, like the drivers, pembantu etc.

By the way, do you know whether the elderly (aged 65+) are eligible to get private health insurance too?

Anonymous said...

Hospitals want up front payment because many of them get a small stipend from the government. We all think hospitals should take care of everyone but hospitals need to be able to generate some kind of revenue to keep it open. I'm sorry to hear about your colleague's uncle but people have to pay for treatment because the government will not.

Unknown said...

@ Koko: No, I haven't.. could you please tell me more about that movie?

@ Andie Summerkiss: What if they couldn't afford to get good education? Education is very expensive here.

@ The writer: Agree for the dangerous combination, makin banyak berita anak kena malnutrition disini, sedih deh :(

@ Katadia: "By the way, do you know whether the elderly (aged 65+) are eligible to get private health insurance too?"

I don't know about that, I think not in Indonesia, or maybe I was wrong. What I know is in Australia aged 65+ you can apply for senior citizen so you will get some privilege, no?

@ Las Vegas Hospital: If the government won't pay for the treatment, maybe hospitals should raise fund from private sector, no?

Rob Baiton said...

The business and politics of health care.

Michael Moore's sicko is a good indictment of what is wrong with the US system, but is it really applicable in a specific sense to the Indonesian context? (probably a different debate).

Let's face it the poor get screwed on everything and this is not something unique to Indonesia.

A good system of public hospitals might help alleviate some of the pressures placed on the poor. The reality though is that no matter how much money the government throws at public health care it will never be enough.

Our world in a great many ways is a user pays one. If you have the funds and the resources then you have a commensurate degree of access to the system.

See, this is the big misconception that it is the government's responsibility to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Is this really true? As an individual isn't it your responsibility to take care of yourself and if you cannot then don't we drop into that Darwinian survival of the fittest mode?

Australia's response to this particular crisis was to legislate compulsory private health cover at a minimum level. It still has not had a major reducing impact on the numbers of people waiting for "elective" surgery at public hospitals.

Medicare provides some reprieve for those on limited incomes, but the key here is income. If you are a person of no income or means then the system will pass you by.

Personal opinion for me is that the government should (and must) take on that burden of providing access to the poor to the health system. The political reality is are we prepared to pay more in taxes or be forced into compulsory private health insurance to ensure that those less fortunate than ourselves have the access they cruelly do not have now? interesting and thought provoking piece! Nice post!

Unknown said...

@ Rob: Actually there is Puskesmas (Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat) that government built for poor people, but they only provide basic treatment if you need major treatment like surgery or else they will recommend the ill to go to big hospital with better service, and then comes the problem... some hospitals won't accept ill people unless they pay first.

Maybe if who ever bureaucrat willing to share some of their assets or maybe stop doing corruption, government will have more money for health system for unfortunate people, ha!