The Special Autonomy: How It May Support and Improve Healthy Development in West Papua

Healthy Development

Since West Papua is one of the provinces in Indonesia that has more green in their land, relying on natural resources is one way to support its growth. Besides that, there are other potentials for healthy development in West Papua.

Dominggus Mandacan, the West Papua Governor, had stated this idea on August 2020. According to Antara News, Dominggus affirmed that the special autonomy status had boosted the growth of both Papua and West Papua.

Mandacan informed that there have already been three sectors that reap the benefits of the special autonomy. These areas include:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Infrastructure

When it comes to education development, the special autonomy in West Papua has resulted in more Papuan youngsters getting more chances for a higher education, whether in Indonesia or abroad. It is provided by the funds of the special autonomy.

The infrastructure development of West Papua can be seen from the number of road, bridges, and other various programs for Papuans themselves to utilize the special autonomy fund. This development also works wonders for their local businesses. It helps them to trade better and faster.

What About the Health Development in West Papua?

The special autonomy funds have also helped the local authority to make improvements in health services. This is not just in the big cities in West Papua, but also in remote areas.

The Papua Health Card (KPS):

Healthy Development

Since 2014, Papuan residents could receive free healthcare as long as they owned these cards. KPS, which stands for ‘Kartu Papua Sehat’, offers local citizens free medications whenever they needed them. All costs would be covered by the government of Indonesia.

The program was released in 2014. For this, the government of Indonesia had invested 800 million rupiahs. The underprivileged West Papuans had already felt the benefits of having these cards. From 2014 to 2015, Merauke Central Hospital had served over 70 thousand patients who were indigenous Papuans.

With the help of KPS, patients could save the costs about 500 – 750 millions of rupiahs. In August 2017, a team of doctors from Tk. II Marthen Indey Hospital had successfully performed arthroplasty on two different patients.

So far, here are the listed health services in Papua:

  • Puskesmas (Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat) Moyo or Moyo Health Center for Public.

This health center for public is located in Moyo, East Sorong, West Papua. This health center is close between Baldatun Tayyibah Mosque and KIBAID Jemaat Church.

  • Ende Clinic.

This clinic is located in North Sorong, West Papua. Ende Clinic is close between Sirambe Building and Mega Mall Sorong.

  • Merauke Central Hospital.

Merauke Central Hospital is not really located in West Papua, but it is in Merauke, Papua. This is one of the biggest hospitals in the province.

The Latest Statistics for Health development in West Papua

How are Papua and West Papua doing lately? It is true that before today, this province has lagged behind other provinces in Indonesia, in terms of human development indices. This has been clearer in areas overcome by poverty and health issues.

In 2019, the Human Development Index of Papua reached 60.84 percent. This means an increase by 1.3 percent from 2018. For the same year, West Papua’s Human Development Index reached 64.7 percent. This means an increase by 1.5 percent.

When it comes to life expectancy in West Papua, babies born in 2019 will have a better chance to live up to 65 years old.

It is not only that, though. In 2019, the children aged seven in West Papua had a better opportunity to attend school for 12.72 years. This means an increase of 0.19 years compared to 2018. When it comes to enjoying education, children aged seven in West Papua had a better chance for 11.05 years. This means an increase by 0.22 years compared to 2018.

Health in West Papua in The Age of Coronavirus

Healthy Development

Of course, the healthy development in West Papua should not just stop there. In the age of Coronavirus, some serious ecological approaches must be taken, including:

  • Acknowledging the true natural resources that West Papua owns.

Since sago is their true natural food staple, then why force the West Papuans to acknowledge rice as their carbohydrate main source? That way, there will not have to be any kind of hunger problem.

  • Protecting the forests from deforestation.

It is okay to have a city development like the one in Sorong. However, this does not mean all the areas in West Papua should be the same. The world still needs the rainforest and West Papua still has plenty of it. Not everything should be turned into an urban area.

When it comes to healthy development in West Papua, it is not just one sector that should be supported. With the special autonomy, the people of Papua and West Papua can run their own provinces with their own local wisdom. This is how it may support and improve healthy development in West Papua.