Indonesian Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin is in the process of implementing a scholarship program to support top West Papua students to study at the Faculty of Medicine there.
“We will launch a scholarship program, for all the best high school graduates, in Jayapura, Merauke, Timika, so that they can pursue their careers and become doctors,” said Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
This was announced in a meeting with the Committee on the Special Autonomy Law for Papua at the Parliament Complex, Jakarta, Monday, (07/06/21).
Budi said this plan was to address the shortage and uneven distribution of health workers in Indonesia’s eastern – most province.
“The number of doctors in Indonesia is now only 0.4 doctors per 1,000 population. In Papua and West Papua, the figure is even lower than the national average, which is 0.3 doctors per 1,000 population,” he said.
On an estimated ratio, for the average country in Asia, there should be 1 doctor per 1,000 population, while developed countries have 3 doctors per thousand population.
The Minister of Health has also liased with the Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati and the Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Higher Education Nadiem Makarim. He will also coordinate with the Faculty of Medicine at several universities, such as the University of Indonesia or Airlangga University, to name a few.
This plan is one part of the transformation of human resources in the health sector in Papua launched by the Indonesian Ministry of Health.
In addition, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi revealed five other transformation plans in the health sector in Papua.
This will begin from the transformation of primary services, transformation of secondary services, transformation of health resilience, and transformation of the health financing system.
He also hopes that the Papua Special Autonomy Bill can be in line with these four transformation plans.
“I believe all parents in Merauke, Timika, Jayapura, will see this opportunity as beneficial if their child is offered a scholarship to become a doctor. The only condition is that they are willing to serve in Papua as soon as they graduate.”
This solution will provide both financial support and education to students that need it to in turn help service the medical industry and the people of West Papua which is currently facing a shortage of doctors below the required ratio.