West Papua, a province located in the eastern part of Indonesia, has a number of remote areas that are difficult to reach. The problem of access to healthcare services in these areas is a major concern, considering the importance of health for the local population. This article will explain the challenges faced in ensuring access to healthcare services in remote areas of West Papua, as well as the efforts that have been made to address this issue.
The Challenge of Access to Healthcare Services in Remote Areas of West Papua
The main barrier to healthcare access services in remote areas of West Papua is the difficult physical access. The region of West Papua consists of dense forests, mountains, and deep rivers.
These geographical conditions make transportation to remote areas difficult. Poor roads or inadequate telecommunications networks also hinder the connection between healthcare facilities in remote areas and larger healthcare facilities .
Due to the limited infrastructure, distributing medicines, medical equipment, and healthcare personnel becomes challenging in remote areas. This condition results in difficulties in providing adequate healthcare access and quality services to the population in remote areas.
Additionally, remote areas often experience delays in receiving emergency medical assistance in situations that require immediate attention.
Apart from the difficult physical access, another issue is the lack of available healthcare personnel in remote areas of West Papua. Many healthcare professionals tend to prefer working in major cities or more developed areas.
The shortage of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel in remote areas poses a barrier to providing adequate healthcare services. Residents in remote areas often have to travel long distances to the nearest cities to receive more complex medical care .
Government Efforts to Ensure Access to Healthcare Services in Remote Areas of West Papua
The government has made several efforts to improve access to healthcare services in remote areas of West Papua. Some of these efforts include:
1. Mobile Community Health Center (Puskesmas Keliling) Program
The government has launched the Mobile Community Health Center (Puskesmas Keliling) program to provide access to healthcare issues in remote areas. This program involves sending medical teams and medical equipment to remote areas. The medical teams provide basic healthcare services such as health check-ups, minor treatments, and immunizations .
2. Healthcare Facility Development
The government has also constructed healthcare facilities in remote areas. These healthcare facilities’ development aims to ensure that people in remote areas have access to adequate healthcare services. The healthcare facilities built include community health centers (Puskesmas), clinics, and hospitals .
3. Healthcare Personnel Training
The government provides training to healthcare personnel serving in remote areas. This training aims to improve the quality of healthcare services in remote areas. Healthcare personnel who have received training are better equipped to provide adequate healthcare services to the community.
West Papua Received Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Award
The Government of West Papua Province recently received the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) award. This award is given as an appreciation for the commitment of local governments in the districts, cities, and provinces in providing healthcare coverage to the population.
The Government of West Papua Province is constantly improving the quality of healthcare services, including through the update of the BPJS (Social Security Administering Body) services. The Health Insurance Program is also one of the efforts by the Government of West Papua Province to enhance healthcare coverage for the community.
Addressing the challenges of physical access and personnel shortage, the government of West Papua has implemented programs and initiatives to improve access to healthcare services in remote areas.
Furthermore, West Papua Province has achieved Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for six consecutive years, covering 99.07% of the population in all working areas. This indicates that the Government of West Papua Province and the seven district governments have provided healthcare coverage to the community as a form of sustained protection for healthcare services through the national health insurance program (JKN). 
Ensuring access to healthcare services in remote areas of West Papua remains a challenging issue that needs to be addressed. The government has made several efforts to ensure access to healthcare services in remote areas.