Mon, 31 Oct 1994

Governor marks soft opening of Haj Hospital

JAKARTA (JP) Governor Surjadi Soedirdja marked the initiation of operations at the Jakarta Haj Hospital in Pondok Gede, East Jakarta, on Saturday.

The hospital, which is equipped with various modern facilities, is scheduled to be officially inaugurated by President Soeharto on Nov. 12, in conjunction with the commemoration of National Health Day.

"The hospital constitutes part of the municipal administration's commitment to providing Jakartans with better health services," Surjadi said at the soft opening ceremony.

He said the hospital was built as a monument to commemorate the deaths of 649 pilgrims in Mina, Saudi Arabia, in 1990.

The hospital is designed to improve health services to people intending to perform the haj pilgrimage. It will also offer services to the public.

The facility is one of the four hospitals built simultaneously after the Mina tragedy. The other three are located at the haj embarkation centers in Medan, North Sumatra; Ujungpandang, South Sulawesi, and Surabaya, East Java.

The Jakarta Haj Hospital was built at a cost of Rp 23.3 billion (about US$11.09 million), of which Rp 1.3 million was in the form of a subsidy from the central government. The remainder was financed by the municipal budget and assistance from Bazis, an Islamic alms collection body, Retty S. Soedibyo, director of the hospital, said.

She said that the Saudi Arabian government, Garuda Indonesia airlines and the Bimantara Foundation donated funds for the construction of the hospital.

"The hospital, which is currently still in trial operation, wants to improve its services in stages. We are providing services free of charge between Oct. 26 and Nov. 11 through the polyclinic," she said.

Third class

The polyclinic provides various treatments ranging from general health care, family planning, dental care, midwifery and neurology to surgery, she said.

Retty said the hospital is designed to have 200 beds, of which 100 are already available at present. Out of the existing 100 beds, 45 beds, or 45 percent of the total capacity, are classified as "Third Class", which accommodates low-income patients. This is far higher than the 25 percent required by regulations.

Despite the large percentage of beds allocated for poor patients, however, the hospital is expected to be self-reliant under professional management.

M. Masyhur, the hospital's counselor, said treatment will still be offered to the public during the pilgrimage season. The hospital will provide services in cooperation with the Islamic Hospital and the Haj Dormitory Clinic.

All patients, especially those intending to perform the haj pilgrimage and those returning from the trip, can receive health care at the hospital as soon as all the facilities are installed.

"The priority will be given to treatment prior to departure, which deals mostly with stress-related illnesses, including high blood pressure and diabetes, while returning pilgrims usually suffer from influenza," he said.

He said he hopes that the hospital can help Moslems be more physically able to perform the pilgrimage.

The six-story hospital, done in middle eastern architectural style, was built in one year on a one-hectare plot of land. The environmentally-conscious building is equipped with a modern waste processing unit. (22)