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Quick Impact Program 2: Providing Free Health Check-ups, Eradicating Tuberculosis (TB), and Building High-Quality Full-Service Hospitals in Every Regency

By: Prabowo Subianto [excerpted from “National Transformation Strategy: Towards Golden Indonesia 2045,” pages 159-160, 4th softcover edition]

We’ve just emerged from a challenging COVID-19 pandemic. According to the data I’ve received, from 2020 to mid-2023, 160,000 Indonesian citizens died due to COVID-19. This is a significant number, meaning that in 2.5 years, 64,000 people died.

Now, with effective vaccines, medications, and screenings, we’ve managed to control the COVID-19 virus. Being infected with COVID-19 is no longer as daunting. In 2023, the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 has significantly decreased.

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The same resolve must be applied to TB or tuberculosis. Indonesia ranks as the second-highest country in terms of TB cases globally. For the past decade, Indonesia has detected an average of 900,000 TB cases each year. Of these cases, 10% result in death. This means 90,000 Indonesians die from TB annually.

This figure is alarmingly high. These 90,000 individuals are fathers, mothers, siblings, and children. The families left behind face significant challenges, especially since those who succumb to TB generally reside in densely populated areas with lower to middle incomes.

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The nation must focus and be capable of overcoming TB. Many countries have successfully controlled TB, with some advanced countries reporting zero cases. Yet, we are still reporting 900,000 cases per year. After consulting with experts, I believe we can reduce TB cases by at least 50% by 2029. One approach involves offering free health screenings as a benefit to all participants of BPJS (Indonesian Health Insurance).

With annual free health screenings, we aim to boost health awareness and disease prevention. These check-ups should include blood pressure monitoring, blood sugar level testing, and lung X-rays, enhancing our preventive measures to protect the health of Indonesians.

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Beyond tackling TB, healthcare is a vital component of the Human Development Index (HDI), a key national development indicator. Therefore, the current ratio of healthcare workers (HCWs) per population and hospital beds per population, below WHO standards, must be urgently improved.

Hence, constructing full-service hospitals becomes a primary goal. High-quality hospitals need to be established across every regency, supported by attractive incentives for specialists committed to serving there.


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