Better Health Care For Poor Indonesian Women And Children
FRI 12 OCTOBER 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Indonesian Health Minister Dr Nafsiah Mboi today announced a new health program to improve access to quality primary health care for three million poor Indonesian women and children.
Indonesia has come a long way in improving the health of its population, but poor people in Indonesia still face significant health challenges. For example an Indonesian woman is still 30 times more likely to die during childbirth than a woman in Australia.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health is committed to reducing maternal mortality and making basic health care more affordable and available. Australia is supporting those efforts.
This new program will help poor people get better access to health care in their own communities.
This $50 million Australian aid initiative will help primary health care centres in five provinces, starting in East Java and East Nusa Tenggara, to get better staff and to get access to the finance they need to operate effectively.
Approximately 3500 nurses and midwives will be trained and available in the locations where they are needed most. The program will pilot reforms to speed up the use of health funds in 20 districts in these five provinces.
The new health program will also assist Indonesia roll out its new national health social security scheme that will better cover the costs of health care, particularly for poor people.
The tens of thousands of Australians who visit Bali each year would be proud to know that through our aid program, they are helping to train nurses and health workers to better care for women and children here and in other parts of Indonesia.
The Prime Minister also announced a new scholarship initiative for Indonesian health professionals.
This initiative will honour all the people who lost their lives in the Bali bombings of October 2002.
Under the Australia Awards, 20 awards will be provided annually to Indonesian health professionals to complete postgraduate study in Australia.
Australia’s scholarship program to Indonesia is our largest and longest, running since the 1950s. It has supported thousands of young Indonesians to expand their knowledge and skills at Australia’s most reputable institutions.