Today, I had my first opportunity to go inside one of the local hospitals. This one was fairly close to Smiling Hill and is called Mushulla Asy Syifaa Hospital. This hospital is primarily for locals, with another more modern facility usually used by Westerners located elsewhere. Fortunately, I was not there for myself.
A young woman who had recently moved into the complex gave birth last weekend to a premature baby – 2 months early. She, of course, has no health insurance or money to pay the hospital bills. My boss, Doug, has taken it upon himself to pay at least some of the costs, and we will be asking other expats to contribute.
I was asked to go to the hospital to photograph the baby to use in our request for donations. The baby girl is in the infant ICU, in a plastic tube-like container, with tubes all over her, including for oxygen. One of the pictures above captures the scene. The other pictures are just so you can see what the hospital looks like, or at least the part I was in.
For reference purposes, the bills are expected to come to about 30 million rupiah, or about $3,300. Another interesting difference is that the patient’s family, or in this case friends, has to buy the medicine at the apotek (pharmacy) and bring it to the hospital.
From what I could tell, the baby is in good hands, although I’m sure the hospital doesn’t have all the technology of a good U.S. hospital. Also, most of the staff (women) I saw were wearing the traditional Muslim hajib (head covering).