Saturday, January 8, 2011

Smart Health Cards Delayed


Electronic smart-cards for free healthcare have been delayed because districts have been slow in getting information to the Bali Mandara organisation and some local hospitals and clinics did not have facilities to use them, Governor I Made Mangku Pastika has said.

“We are forced to retreat a little,” he said. He said they now hoped to introduce the cards – one per family – in mid-2011 so that patients would not have to carry letters with them to get free treatment.

The Bali Mandara scheme, the governor’s own initiative and a policy he campaigned on for election, provides free healthcare for low-income Balinese families.

The 2010 provincial budget allocated Rp123 billion (US$13.6 million) for the scheme, which came into operation on January 1, 2010. Regencies are required to match this funding.

The system has proved so popular that it was running over budget within a month of starting up and in mid-year Buleleng regency hospitals reported lengthening waiting lists for surgery.

Jembrana did not join the scheme – it has its own health concession card – but is expected to do so in 2011.

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