YOGYAKARTA - Academic Hospital of UGM, Indonesian Ophthalmologist Association of Yogyakarta (Perdami), and Indonesian Red Crescent (BSMI) of Yogyakarta conducted social activity in the form of free cataract surgery on Saturday (2/7). Located at Academic Hospital of UGM, Kabupaten Street, Kronggahan, Sleman, as many as 38 patients had cataract surgery.
Director of the Hospital, Prof. dr. Faisal Arif, Sp.Rad (K)., Ph.D., said that the free cataract surgery is part of the social service activities of the Academic Hospital for residents who live around the Hospital. This kind of activity provides direct benefits to the community, especially to alleviate the burden of treatment cost for patients with cataracts. "It is a big benefit for the patients with cataract," he said.
Although the service of the Academic Hospital has not fully operated because of permission from the government that has yet to be finalised, social activities in the form of free health screening and treatment have been started. "This hospital has not fully operated; the licensing process is still on going. As it is issued, the service for patients will be open and accessible to anyone," he added.
In addition to UGM, there are 14 universities in Indonesia which build academic hospitals. However, all is not fully operational because they are, too, waiting for government’s permission. Arif said that the UGM Academic Hospital is type B which has 200 rooms and is facilitated with various latest health equipment of international standard. "All the functions of health care facilities of the Academic Hospital will be fully implemented immediately in year 2013," he said.
Answering questions about the reason for the establishment of Academic Hospital by UGM, Arif said that the existence of hospitals in Yogyakarta is still needed by the community. Another reason is to follow directive from Ministry of National Education which requires every college which has a medical school to establish educational hospital.
Chairman of Perdami of Yogyakarta, Prof. dr. Suhardjo, S.U, Sp.M (K), said that Perdami targets to perform free surgery for 1,000 patients of cataract in Indonesia in order to reduce the rate of blindness caused by this disease. "Cataract surgery is not cheap. Those having health insurance (Askes) alone minimally pay 4.5 million rupiah. For those who cannot afford it, this will surely be difficult. We support government program to reduce the rate of blindness," he said.
Especially for the cataract surgery performed by the UGM Academic Hospital, Suhardjo mentioned that Perdami involves eight ophthalmologists and the latest equipment facilities. "Technological development (cataract surgery) is not only for those who can afford it, but also those who cannot," he concluded.