Telemedicine for West Papuan

Source: Indonesian House of Parliament Magazine, 2017
Source: Indonesian House of Parliament Magazine, 2017

 Ministry of National Development Planning/ National Development Planning Agency is establishing the long-distance medical service, called telemedicine which can make the health service accessible in West Papua.

Source: Indonesian House of Parliament Magazine, 2017
Source: Indonesian House of Parliament Magazine, 2017

Health service based on an online system now is being developed by the Government of Indonesia through Ministry of National Development Planning/ National Development Planning Agency. This long-distance medical service is the Government’s attempt to provide the health service in the West Papua inland.

The health service based on the online system is executed directly by the medical personnel Papua Community Health Center (Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat-Puskesmas) guided by the doctor in a large hospital through the teleconference. Doctor in Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya could accommodate the health service to the West Papuan online, then the health personnel in Puskesmas only run the instruction from the doctor.

“The core of telemedicine is to connect the referral hospitals to Puskesmas. Puskesmas, still, is a vanguard of the health service but scouted by the central or district hospital. The health personnel in Papua Puskesmas will be connected with the preceptor hospital, possibly in Sorong or if the illness is more complicated the connection will be passed to the central hospital in Jakarta,” said the Minister of National Development Planning/ National Development Planning Agency, Mr. Bambang Brodjonegoro.

Telemedicine has been conducted in the developed countries, like in Maternity Clinic St. Mary, Fukuoka, Japan. Australia is committed to assisting Indonesia developing telemedicine as they are experienced in the long-distance medical service as well.

“Australia said that they will help us because they have telemedicine experience in the inland of their country,” Mr. Bambang Brodjonegoro stated.

Minister of National Development Planning/ National Development Planning Agency reveals there are seven benefits from telemedicine. First, resolve the limitation of a medical specialist in the inland region. Second, improve efficiency and decrease patient trip. Third, decrease the number of referral patient. Fourth, decrease the retardation of diagnosing. Fifth, solve the limitation of medical infrastructure. Sixth, as an education agent for the doctor. Seventh, make the patient monitoring easier.

The adequate internet access is really needed for the implementation of this program. So, in order to support telemedicine program, the Government of Indonesia is also developing the Palapa Ring as a connectivity of telecommunication base. Palapa Ring will be established especially in the eastern part of Indonesia, including Papua Province, West Papua Province, Maluku Province, and East Nusa Tenggara Province. Palapa ring is now developed along 4.450 km with the capacity of 100 GB (upgradable to 160 GB), carrying the ring concept, two pairs (four cores) (Ministry of Communication and Informatics, 2013)

Keyword: West Papua, Indonesia, telemedicine, Puskesmas, health service, palapa ring, connectivity, online health service, health personnel, Ministry of National Development Planning, National Development Planning Agency, Ministry of Communication and Informatics

By: Zuraida, S. (Researcher, MaCDIS)

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