Lenny Tristia Tambun
A premature baby has died from a respiratory problem just one week after she was born, after she was denied treatment from eight hospitals in Jakarta.
Dera Nur Anggraini, who was born on Feb. 10 with her twin sister Dara, died on Saturday at the Zahira Hospital in South Jakarta, where she was born.
Doctors at the hospital said Dera required surgery to treat a deformity in her throat and had referred her to other hospitals as Zahira did not have the medical equipment needed to perform the surgery.
But when Dera’s parents and her grandparents tried to admit her to a bigger hospital, they were continually denied.
“Dera was already buried yesterday, on Sunday, not far from our home,” said Dera’s father, Elias Setya Nugroho, a street sandal vendor who lives in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta.
Elias and Dera’s grandfather, Herman, said on Monday that they had tried to bring the newborn baby to Fatmawati Hospital and Pertamina Central Hospital (RSPP) in South Jakarta, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Central Jakarta, Harapan Kita Hospital in West Jakarta and Budi Asih Hospital in East Jakarta, among other places.
A total of eight hospitals, however, rejected Dera, saying they either didn’t have the medical equipment for the surgery or their rooms were fully occupied.
“RSPP initially said they had a room, but after we asked about the costs, they said their rooms were fully occupied and they didn’t have the equipment,” Herman told Indonesian news portal merdeka.com.
“I was even yelled at at Harapan Kita; they said I wouldn’t find [a room for Dera]. Private hospitals asked for a down payment of Rp 12 million ($1,241) to Rp 15 million,” he added.
While a free health care card from the Jakarta administration is supposed to free the capital’s underprivileged residents from medical treatment costs, Herman said their card did not work.
Elias added that he hoped that Dera’s twin sister, who weighed only 1 kilogram when she was born, would survive.
“Dara has been referred now to Tarakan [hospital],” Elias said.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said that the Jakarta administration would surely pay hospitals for their expenses related to the implementation of the Jakarta health care card.
“I’m concerned with this incident. The baby should have been handled well by [one of those hospitals],” Basuki said at the City Hall on Monday.
He added that this year alone the administration had allocated Rp 1.2 trillion for the program, which is in partnership with 85 hospitals in the capital.
Basuki said hospitals should provide more Class III rooms for poor patients so that there would be no more excuse of the rooms being fully occupied.
“The law says they can have 25 percent of their rooms for Class III services, and 75 percent for other classes. But we want the 75 percent to be Class III rooms,” Basuki said, adding that the current available Class III room services fell short for the number of those who needed them.