Free Healthcare?

You’re probably wondering why I look pessimistic by adding a question mark at the end of the post. But as someone coming from a developing country such as Indonesia, having a reliable healthcare system is a relative luxury which is yet to be accorded to all citizens.

Healthcare system and development is a work in progress; infact the government has just launched the free healthcare facilities in the 2nd semester of 2013. Under this scheme, all citizens who are government and private employees can have access to the system while the insurance premium is bore by their respective institutions. Meanwhile those without the support of any company may apply for the individual scheme; in this case they have to pay for the monthly premium, ranging from 2, 4, to 6 dollars.

My family decided to apply independently for the past 6 months and I’ve been in charge of ensuring the premium is duly paid not later than the 10th every month. But never have I used the system, until today. Still shivering from cold and flu, this afternoon I decided to pay a visit to the designated clinic.

It was the 3rd day of Eid holiday and the clinic had no patient (I assumed they were still away in their hometowns). So the receptionist welcomed me warmly and took my details before taking my blood pressure and ushering me to the doctor’s room; all done in around 5 minutes! The examination was equally swift and I was told to pick up the medicine at the pharmacy. Another 5 minutes of waiting and I was released from the clinic. Gosh it was surreal!

The medicine was standard generic brand for my cough plus a vitamin. But the best of it all, it’s FREE. Hurray, let’s celebrate this small victory for Indonesia. ^^


1. The insurance card, or BPJS, bears the name of the designated clinic so the free treatment is only valid there. I still don’t know if the same treatment will be granted when you have an ilness they cannot treat and you are referred to the public hospital.

2. The paperwork is a bit of a hassle. You must produce a photocopy of the insurance card everytime you visit. EVERY TIME.


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