The State News Agency Antara reports that Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has announced that the provincial government of Bali will now shoulder the cost of hemodialysis for Bali residents under the Provincial Medicare Program (JKBM) commencing January 2013.
Speaking at a program to launch an electronic JKBM administration system in Denpasar, Pastika said that his office was now in the process of calculating how large a budget allocation must be set aside to cover the hemodialysis treatments.
Pastika asked: “If the provincial government is able to pay this expense, then why not?”
The governor said that the cost of a singe hemodialysis treatment can run Rp. 800,000 (US$83) and that patients suffering from kidney failure can need as many as two hemodialysis treatments every week.
Pastika said that chemotherapy treatments – used in cancer care, remain beyond the ability of the JKBM system to pay due to the very high cost of such medication. Similarly, the cost of treatment due to road accidents is not paid by JKBM, as coverage for road accidents are paid by the Jasa Raharja State insurance scheme.
In response to those that feel the e-JKBM program is not yet operating in an optimal manner, the governor expressed the opinion that the problem rests squarely with hospitals lacking the necessary political will to make the program run smoothly.
“I request that by the end of this month that everything is running smoothly, for if the program is not already up and running we will never know where the obstacles are,” explained the governor.
Meanwhile, the head of the Bali Health Service, Dr. Ketut Suarjaya, told the press that the e-JKBM system is in full operation at a number of hospitals and community health centers. But, in order to maximize the system, he said, the e-JKMBM must be integrated with the Health Information System (SIK) in operation at community health centers and the information systems running at hospitals.
Dr Suarjaya estimates there are sixty-some local health centers (puskesmas) that have already fully integrated the e-JKBM system, while another 50-some are still using an outdated diagnosis code system not compatible with the e-JKBM system.
According to Suarjaya, once the e-JKBM system becomes fully integrated the hospitals in Bali will benefit greatly in terms of financial efficiency, diagnostic procedures, prescriptions and the coordination of treatments.
Repeating the governor’s view, Suarjaya said the only remaining problem is the commitment of hospitals and health centers to make the program a success.
The provincial government has prepared 650 e-JKBM cards for use by Balinese residents in obtaining free medical care.
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