Improving Health Access in the Remote Areas of Indonesia
Right to health is one of the basic human rights without distinction of ethnicity, religion, race or socio-economic conditions. As a consequence, all of people have the same right to the highest attainable standards of health both physically and mentally including access to various medical services with affordable and proper quality (WHO, 2008). Furthermore, the government should ensure the availability of health facilities to improve health conditions for all citizens. In fact, disparities in access to health services often occur in many countries (Barten, Mitlin, Mulholland, Hardoy, & Stern, 2007). One of the main factors that trigger such condition is the large geographical distance of the country.
Indonesia is one of the countries with great discrepancies in terms of geographic and demographic condition. Large topography, combined with huge differences in development, services and facilities has led to disparities in several aspects including access to health services (Susilo et al., 2013). In Indonesia, inequity between rural and urban area is very obvious in which people who live in rural areas having worse health outcomes and greater difficulty in gaining access to health facilities than those who live in city areas (Nguyen, Bauze, Jimenez-Soto, & Muhidin, 2011). In fact, since 1968 the Indonesian Government has established close-to-population health services through health community centers to increase health access for people who live in urban and rural areas (Kristiansen & Santoso, 2006; Rosser, 2012). However, in most of remote areas, the quality of health centers is very poor due to lack of infrastructures as well as tr...
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...hrough contracted scheme and special assignments especially for medical doctors and specialists (F. Efendi, 2012; Kurniati et al., 2015; Thabrany, 2006). The government could also construct policy compelling new doctors, midwives and nurses to work in remote areas for several years as a requirement to obtain professional license (F. Efendi, 2012). Furthermore, the local government could provide job opportunity as permanent civil servants with various benefits for the health workers who choose to stay in remote areas.
c. Building and supporting the capacity of health workforce
To improve health worker capacity, the government should provide training and medical rural bonded scholarship for those willing to be transferred to the remote areas. In addition, the local government could offer scholarship to local people to study in medical, nursing or midwifery school.
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