It just few days after my Twenty Fifth birthday, it’s official now that I can call myself as a quarter centenarian. During my 25 years living as Indonesian in Indonesia I witness many things at different level, regime and condition. In that span of time Indonesia surely developed into better shape but I will not talk about “it could be better” kind of idea since it is historic narration.
Government backed health care
I was born at the late of 1991 in private Catholic institution owned hospital at a small town in East Java, my sister also born at the same hospital two years later. Even though my family is Muslim but they seemed didn’t trust government owned hospital, it shows how back then people was having more distrust to public facility compared with today’s condition. Me and my sister also got extra shot of immunization in this hospital, since my mother thought that government backed immunization program was not complete.
Fortunately we didn’t have much experience with health care in 90’s until early 2000, so I don’t have enough knowledge to tell about it, but still I know a bit about that time.
Government effort and commitment for people’s health had been started at that time. There was scheduled gathering at place called Posyandu (Pos Pelayanan Terbadu?) for mothers and their under 5th children. At that moment they measured children nutrition condition from their height, weight and age, there was also a card for mother to track their child record from time to time. What impresses me know is the fact that the record was noted not in traditional table form but in beautiful curve graphic, so it’s easier to understand even for uneducated mother.
At Posyandu I also got immunization and extra nutrition like biscuit, green bean kolak and fish oil. However another important thing about this Posyandu is not only about me as a child, but also my mother as house manager in general. They taught mothers mother about family nutrition, clean house and government population control program which we call KB (Keluarga Berencana).
Outside of Posyandu I also got another shot of immunization at the second grade accompanied by extra nutrition like vitamin and fish oil. Still remember how me and friends trying to swallow that disgusting oil together at the mosque terrace. We had long discussion about the different from red colored and blue colored fish oil capsule, which one is taste better, at the end we agree that both of them was awfully disgusting.
For the historical context why the government put extra effort in people’s nutrition, at that time because there was no understanding about balanced nutrition. It was easy to find someone eat with only rice and kerupuk (cracker) or rice with salt or sweet soy sauce. No milk for child because it was so expensive, tajin (rice milk) was regarded to be the milk substitution. Government pushed a “4 Sehat 5 Sempurna” (4 good 5 perfect) campaign, which suggested people to eat carbohydrate source, vegetable, fruit, protein source (4 good) and milk to make it perfect. Although at my village traditionally people understand that they need that balanced food, common dish at that time was rice, side dish like fried tempe or tofu or salted fish, sambal and vegetable.
Back then at 90’s health infrastructure was good enough even-tough not as good as today of course, there was no hospital or 24 hours health facility near my village. There was 1 clinic we call Puskesmas, I’m not sure if there was doctor but they give capable enough to handle common health problem. I got some stitch at my knee when I was 5th grade in that Puskesmas, I still remember that day.
I still wanna talk about 90’s before shortly talk about today’s condition. One day there was officer came to my home, they surveyed about my house condition. He checked about how clean my house is, do we have enough ventilation, where we eat, where we sleep, how about bathroom and toilet. At that time we didn’t have WC, ours was a big hole in the land with plaited bamboo with small hole on top. After that survey my father built proper bathroom with WC inside.
Now the condition is much more better, Indonesian have better health care insurance and facility. Near my village there are at least 3 hospital with 24 hours facility, drugstore everywhere and many clinics with doctor. People are better educated, their home are better and cleaner, there are fewer family with more than 3 children, healthy food are relatively cheaper (more middle class demography).
What I really appreciate is how better government backed insurance makes the health care is more accessible. Before BPJS Kesehatan there was government backed insurance like AsKes and jamkesmas for poor family, but that involve many uncertain procedure and facility. BPJS Kesehatan (with many critic around it) give clearer and more professional service, and not only available for poor family.
Next time I will write about other public infrastructure like electricity