Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - Residents of Galang Island, Batam City, Riau Islands Province, have asked the government to guarantee their health and safety if a special infectious disease hospital is to be built on the former refugee camp island.

"We ask the government to guarantee public health and safety," Suherman, Chairperson of the Rempang Galang Association, said on the sidelines of a free medical service activity, organized by the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian Police (Polri), here on Sunday.

Suherman, who earlier objected the plan to build the hospital on Galang, later agreed with the plan but he hoped that the existence of a special infectious disease hospital will later have a positive impact on the local people.

The establishment of a hospital is believed to be able to improve the economy of the Galang community, he hoped.

He also hoped that public health services will be improved.

He urged that the construction and operation of the hospital to involve local people, in accordance with their skills and capabilities.

"In accordance with the capability and skills of local people. They could be nurses, doctors, security officers. It must involve the locals," he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Suleman, chairman of NGO, LPM Sijantung, was optimistic that the presence of a special hospital would help progress on Galang Island.

Public welfare will increase with the construction of health facilities on Galang Island.

"As society, we always support the government programs," he said.

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Translator: Yuniati J Naim, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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