Thu, 29 May 2003

Australia provides A$4.5 in aid

DENPASAR, Bali: Indonesia and Australia signed an agreement on financial aid worth at A$4.5 million (US$2.97 million), most of which will be used to build a new Intensive Care Center at the Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar.

The two-story center will cost A$3.6 million, and the project is expected to begin in June and be completed early in 2004. Australia and the Bali provincial health office are discussing the most effective form of the remaining A$900,000 assistance.

The new Intensive Care Center will have an Intensive Care Unit, an Intensive Cardiac Care Unit, and a Burns Unit. The fund will also be used to refurbish the hospital morgue.

Sanglah Hospital played a major role in treating survivors and keeping the bodies of the victims in the Oct. 12, 2002 bombings on the resort island.

Signing the agreement were managing director of the Sanglah Hospital, I Gusti Lanang M. Rudiartha, the head of Bali provincial health office, Made Molin Yudiasa, and Sam Zappia, the Australian Embassy Counselor for Development Cooperation.

The agreement was part of a A$10.5 million package of assistance to Bali committed by Australian Prime Minister John Howard during his visit here on Feb. 15.

Australia lost 88 of its citizens in the blasts, which killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. --JP