Thus far, Indonesia has been a rather sublime experience. The ability to look out of my room and see nothing but a beautiful green rice field is truly a gift to wake up to everyday here in Yogyakarta, Over the past few days we have visited various organizations and encountered issues that are neither glorious nor wonderful in nature but the efforts of certain people address and create change are more extraordinary than any sunset or landscape. These social and economic issues are not unique to indonesia but are prevalent in nearly all nations. Prior to today, we dealt with two groups, one focused on educating and sponsoring street children and the other was centralized around proper business affairs and tactics. As my particular interest are focused on Public Health, I felt nothing but eagerness today when we ventured to Puskesmas, a local health clinic that serves the two surrounding villages in this area. The clinic currently provides health services ranging from general practice and midwifery, to x-radiation and lab testing. We were able to briefly tour the facility including its 24 hours emergency unit as well as speak with one of the four Doctors that practice there. He provided us with basic information and demographics of the two villages they service. The people who utilize this resource are able to receive care for free if they have proper government issued poverty identification to certify their economic status. For patients who lack this identification, they are able to obtain most services for the cost of 3000 rupiah (about 30 cents USD). The organization is funded by the government and fifty percent of the payments made by patients remain in the funds for Puskesmas. The center also has recently been immensely effective at achieving their target number of patients and treatments for various medical conditions ranging from childbirth to disease detection and prevention. The center appears to be rather accessible and equipped with a staff sincerely dedicated to improving the health of the community. This is visible through their mobile clinics and actions in the case of disaster such as providing free healthcare and treatment for one year after the earthquake in 2006.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at this center as I was able to see efforts from an institution dedicated to improving the overall health of a community outside the United States. As with any social effort, the health of indonesia as a nation has a far way to go in terms of access, proper identification, and treatment, but the efforts of this health clinic are moving in the right direction with their continuous desire to achieve their target. The place to start with improving the health of people is to allocate them proper access and by providing this to identified poverty is a great start. This visit has made me significantly look forward to my further encounters with Public Health as well ass the rest of the organizations we will see during our trip.