28 March 2011

Childbirth costs free - congratulations Indonesian women

This is a very good news for Indonesian women, especially mothers. Karolin Margaret Natasa, a member of commission IX People's Representative Council of the Republic of Indonesia said that this year the central government freeing the childbirth costs for the whole citizen. According to minister, government has budgeted Rp 1.2 trillion in the state budget 2011, and each city / district will get the allocation of Rp 2 billion to free up the childbirth costs.

Although this program applies to everyone, it seems the program is intended for the poor because Karolin says: "Jika masyarakat mampu juga ingin persalinannya gratis silakan saja, asalkan mau ditempatkan di rumah sakit kelas III. Kalau rumah sakit kelas mewah, jelas tidak bisa diberlakukan". (English: "If rich people also want it free for childbirth, go ahead, provided that they're willing to be placed in third class hospital. If luxury hospital, obviously not included in this program")

For me who lives in Indonesia of course this is an excellent news. But unfortunately when I convey this news to my wife and people around me, they did not know it. This proves that this program has not been socialized properly until the grass root. I realize that this takes time, but the government needs to immediately disseminate this program until grassroot, especially for rural society where they are the most in need.

Here I am still thinking whether this program for freeing the childbirth costs will trigger a boom in births in Indonesia, it means will disturb the birth control program. Whatever it is, congratulations for Indonesian women!

== Additional update on 29 March 2011 ==

Actually the plan of this program has been published in September 2010 through the official website of Health Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia. In there explained that in order to reduce the "Maternal Mortality Rate" and "Infant Mortality Rate", Health Ministry creates what's called "new iniciative", namely provides service for childbirth with the cost borne by the government. But again, when just last afternoon I was visiting my niece who was hospitalized due to illness, I just asked a mother who was accompanying his son in the same hospital by asking if she knew that the childbirth costs borne by the government? The answer was "not yet". Hopefully fellows blogger in Indonesia willing to spread this news in their respective area.

One of the targets of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to reduce the ratio of maternal mortality by three quarters from 1990 to 2015. Can Indonesia successfully achieve this target at the end of 2015?
Hmm... :( well, perhaps a news titled "A matter of life and death" from the Jakarta Post able to stimulate you to answer, and below I quotes four important points that makes me very focused (I'm sorry for a bit sad news, mothers):
  1. Many families prefer to use a dukun (traditional healer or shaman) because of traditional beliefs and because it is cheaper than using a trained midwife or going to the hospital. These traditional birth attendants usually perform household chores while the mother recovers. In many rural areas in Indonesia, traditional ways of delivering babies still exist.
  2. Of the 11 countries that contribute to 65 percent to global maternal death, five are in Asian countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan India and Afghanistan.
  3. Indonesia is among Asian countries that have a limited national health budget at only 2.4 percent of the state budget, far below the World Health Organization (WHO)’s standard of at least five percent of the state budget.
  4. According to a study by Ascorbat Gani, medical professor at the University of Indonesia, decentralization of health authority from central to provincial and regional governments has worsened the women and children’s health conditions.
Previous posts related to mother and family:
1) Mother and child - an essay  2) Mother's Day - A tribute for mother  3) An hour with family

Images taken from Wikipedia under creative commons license.


  1. Good news indeed. Let's hope this is an admirable part of a social security system in the making. If necessary the message could land among the grassroots by disseminating it via TV adds.

  2. @ Colson,
    Actually this program was reported last year in September through the website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia.

    But the news has not yet echoed to the bottom.

  3. better keep an eye on this. Let's see where the budget flows.

  4. @ Evy,
    I also feels what you feel. You are right! Let's see where the budget flows.
    I still can not understand what is meant by Ascorbat Gani with his studies (point no.4 above). What is its correlation between decentralization and worsened the women and children's health conditions. I still need to explore this point.

  5. Congratulations. This is very good news for the poor in your country. I hope that others will follow suit too.

  6. @ Rummuser,
    Good news and also slightly less good news as you read in the update section. Evi's comments also good.

    How about health care program in your country India?

  7. @ Tikno
    Commendable move by the Indonesian gov.
    At least one less burden for the poor..

    But would it really make a difference
    in Indonesia's child birth rate ?
    Like you said many people rely on the
    dukun, so will having free facilities
    change their "mating" pattern or trigger
    them to have more offsprings ?
    Ha ha just some food for thought...

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. I just wanna say, hopefully those program not talk only but "real" n "suistainable" :)

  10. @ Bear Wife,
    Not really, maybe now is not the century where people think "a lot of kids are a lot of sustenance" like the old Chinese proverb ;)

    Is there Malaysian women go to traditional midwives?

    @ Bankruptcy,
    Sorry I have to remove your advertisement message!

    @ Aulawi Ahmad,
    I also hope so. Take action, post this news at your blog so more people know it. At least tell the people around you.

  11. The intention is very good by your government and lets us hope the implementation is also smoothly executed. I am sure if this program goes through as planned, Indonesia will see the new baby boom very soon.

  12. Whatta good news!
    I remember, one my my best friend who live in Jogja, he had to pay more than 15 million rupiah on the birth of first son.

  13. @ DR Sam,
    As for the implementation, let's see what happen next. I personally was not too optimistic.

    @ DV,
    I guess, she has requested cesarean section. It was a trend for women who do not want to feel pain during childbirth ;)

    Do you have a plan to post it on your blog, so more people will know this news. I wonder why our government not yet advertise these program on TV.

  14. I hope this program could be implemented ...

  15. @ Laras,
    As Indonesian blogger please post this news to your blog. The more of Indonesian bloggers spread this news, the more Indonesian women (who deserved to get this service) knows, and the more we can creates the extraordinary voices to be heard. Would you?

  16. This is great news to Indonesian families and women....and it's such a program that conveys hope for them.

  17. Hi Bing,
    Are there similar programs in the Philippines?

  18. hi tikno! this is good news for the people of Indonesia.In the Philippines we have public hospitals which (I think) is free for childbirth BUT the patient will have to buy for whatever medicine she would need that is not available in the hospital pharmacy.

  19. Thanks for let us know. I think the condition of women in the Philippines is not much different with Indonesia.


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