Ni Komang Erviani, , The Jakarta Post, , Denpasar | Wed, 01/07/2009 11:18 AM | Bali
The Bali administration launched Tuesday a free health service campaign targeting villages in seven of the province’s eight regencies and the municipality of Denpasar.
The island’s westernmost regency, Jembrana, declined to participate in the campaign, claiming it has carried out a similar program for years.
On the first day of the campaign, physicians, dentists, internists and health workers conducted free medical examinations and dispensed medication in Pegayaman village (Buleleng), Pemecutan (Denpasar), Bona (Gianyar), Pecatu( Badung), Nongan (Karangasem), Tamanbali (Bangli), Sudimara (Tabanan) and Gelgel (Klungkung).
“In 2009, the campaign will target a total of 500 villages and comprise of 6,000 free medical examinations and medication events,” Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said.
“We hope this campaign will improve the health status of village residents across the island,” he added.
The administration financed the campaign by allocating special funds from the province’s annual budget.
Jembrana regency has for several years offered free health care through the community health insurance program.
Mangku Pastika praised the regency’s initiative and urged others to follow suit and thus lighten the burden on the provincial administration’s public health sector.
“The campaign will target 36 villages in Jembrana. Yet, since the regency refused to participate, we will distribute these slots among the eight other regencies and Denpasar,” Pastika said.
Komorang Candra Dewi, a resident of Denpasar, welcomed the campaign, calling it a good initiative. However, he reminded the administration to ensure that health services provided during the campaign were of a high quality.
Pastika stressed that the campaign would be carried out on a regular basis since improving public health services was one of his main priorities.
A similar campaign will be carried out in 2009 with 4,000 events.