Jakarta Globe, Novy Lumanauw, Apr 28, 2015
|President Joko Widodo, center, distributes the Indonesia Health Card (KIS) to |
workers at a rubber plantation in North Sumatra. (Antara Foto/Septianda Perdana)
Jakarta. Tens of millions of disadvantaged Indonesians will start receiving the government’s much-touted Indonesia Health Card (KIS) and Indonesia Smart Card (KIP) from this week — months after the flagship social benefit programs were officially unveiled.
The government says the cards will improve Indonesians’ access to education and health services, and it aims to distribute them to more than 100 million people.
A total of 88.2 million people will receive the KIS card, which provides the nation’s poor and near-poor with access to healthcare.
Card holders will be entitled to treatment at public primary care clinics (puskesmas) and treatment in third-class hospitals. Benefits provided under the health card will be managed by the Social Security Agency (BPJS) but funded by insurance premiums of Rp 19,225 ($1.60) per person — paid by the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, 20.3 million people will be provided with the KIP card, which entitles students from underprivileged families to 12 years’ free education, as well as education resources and free higher education provided they pass university entrance exams.
Workers at a rubber plantation in North Sumatra were the first to get their hands on the KIS cards on April 18, but the government started national distribution on Tuesday.
Distribution of the cards, a campaign promise of President Joko Widodo, was slated for late 2014, but budget wrangling that was only resolved in January pushed the schedule back.
“We’ll start distributing the cards this week,” Joko said on Tuesday after disbursing 3,289 KIS cards to employees of state-owned shipping and dock company, Dok & Perkapalan Kodja Bahari, in North Jakarta.
The cards are similar to the Jakarta Health Card (KJS) and Jakarta Smart Card (JKP) implemented when Joko was governor of the capital,