Health is one of the basic human needs other than food, clothing, and shelter. In order to do any kind of activity and make life more meaningful, one must first be healthy. When someone doesn’t feel well, or he/she suffers from a disease, doctors or medical institutions are very much needed.
Concerning being healthy and productive, a society needs health facilities as well as health infrastructures, such as public health centers and hospital, with their personnel such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.
West Papua becomes one of many provinces in Indonesia that is now emphasizing this field for the sake of creating a healthy and productive society. There are many improvements to health development in West Papua done by the local’s government to make this happen. Let’s take a closer look at its enlargement in health services.
The Needs of Specialist Doctors
Some of the challenges faced by the provincial government are reaching remote residents on the island and provide health facilities for them. For that reason, the government offers the increase of monthly salaries of up to IDR 80 million for specialist doctors who are willing to be assigned in this island.
The Indonesian’s Minister of Health, dr. Terawan Agus Putranto, is very much appreciated the effort. During his visit to Manokwari—the capital city, the Minister said, “We will fight to meet the needs of specialist doctors here. We will promote or inform specialist doctors.”
The government initially offers IDR 50 million in monthly honoraria for specialist doctors. However, the number increases to IDR 75-80 million per month for medical personnel who are willing to be assigned to this island. Offering volunteers to work is also one of the plans to fulfill health development in this province.
20 Health Personnel for Arfak Mountain District
As we know, there are still many remote areas with their own tribes, who are quite isolated because of unlimited access. The provincial government tries their best to reach these local residents.
Therefore, 20 medical workers from the Healthy West Papua program have arrived in the Arfak mountain district. Those 20 workers, who are assigned by the public health office, will take their duties in public health centers in Testega, Didohu, Catubo, and Pustu Plus Membey.
“Of 103 health medical persons from Healthy West Papua Program, 20 of them will be placed in four public health centers in Pegaf. Each public health centers will get five personnel who will be on duty for one year in this area,” said Dr. Nurmawati, the head of Disease Prevention and Control at the West Papua Provincial Health Office.
It is, of course, for the reason that the medical workforces are assigned to those four public health centers. The districts of Testega, Catubo, Didohu, and Membey are chosen for they are parts of remote areas in Pegaf district.
Tabita Dowansiba, the head of the human resources bureau at Pegaf district’s public health centers, said the presence of 20 health workforces delivers a huge contribution to local government. He wishes the program will be carried on every year.
West Papua Contributes to British’s Digital Health Research Project
Since 2015, the Ministry of Health has developed telemedicine health services, including in this province. Minister of Health Regulation number 20 of 2019 regulates the implementation of telemedicine services between health service facilities. Amidst the current pandemic, using information technology for health services becomes the best choice.
To revitalize the existing regulation of this situation, the United Kingdom Government, through the Foreign, Commonwealth, & Development Office, will support the Ministry of Health in various countries, including Indonesia. The revelation is particularly related to telemedicine and e-pharmacy.
This will be done through the Digital Health Regulation Improvement Project. This project aims to give consultative support to the Ministry of Health in an effort to develop telemedicine guidelines and scale-up telemedicine throughout Indonesia in response to COVID-19.
To provide initial information prior to the execution of the project, the Digital Health Research Project was first implemented. On November 12, 2020, as the concrete proof of health development in West Papua, the province Provincial Health Office took part in the Digital Health Research Project along with the Yogyakarta City Health Office through a panel discussion via Zoom. They had a chance to share their opinions and experiences in developing telemedicine.
Besides those three, numbers of several medical facilities are now available, proving that health development in West Papua is heading in a better direction. Those medical facilities are, of course, accompanied by modern technologies as well. With these improvements and various health plan, West Papuans can now have a healthier and more productive society.