Healthy Community: Poorer sufferers currently have limited access to treatment
Jakarta. The Jakarta administration is planning to build its own cancer hospital next year to cater to underprivileged residents stricken by the life-threatening illness.
Chairwoman of the Indonesian Cancer Foundation, Veronica Tan, wife of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, said it is time the capital has its own public cancer hospital.
Poorer cancer patients currently only have the option of attending the Fatmawati, Cipto Mangunkusumo and Persahabatan public hospitals in South, Central and West Jakarta respectively.
Meanwhile, the only dedicated cancer hospital that accepts the government’s universal health insurance scheme, or BPJS, and the Jakarta Health Card — which provides basic health care for all
Jakarta residents — is privately owned Dharmais Cancer Hospital.
“We will build the city’s first public cancer hospital,” Veronica said on Tuesday. “We have bought the necessary land recently.”
Veronica said the new hospital will sit on a 3.7-hectare property in West Jakarta.
The city government purchased the land for Rp 720 billion ($57 million).
“The public cancer hospital is targeted to be operational in 2017. While we are waiting for construction [of the hospital] we will develop human resources first,” she said. “We want to provide the best treatment for cancer patients in Jakarta.”
Jakarta Health Agency chief Koesmedi said the hospital is now in the design stage, adding that it is not yet clear how many in-patients the planned hospital can cater to.
“What is certain is that we want to build [the new hospital] 30 stories high,” he said. “This year, we will focus on the design aspect and then in 2016 we will start with construction so in 2017 [the hospital] will be operational.”
Governor Basuki said Jakarta would continue to build and expand hospitals.
Last year, the city constructed the Pasar Minggu public hospital in South Jakarta and increased the capacity of three hospitals to cater to more poor patients under the Jakarta Health Card scheme.
The city government has also upgraded several community health centers into small hospitals.
“These are all efforts to provide more beds,” Basuki said.