Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry is collaborating with the Batam Concession Agency (BP Batam) for developing the health sector in the region, BP Batam head Muhammad Rudi informed here on Friday.

"The data said, almost all of them (patients are) seeking treatment in Johor, Malacca, and Singapore, thus, we, as the officials of BP Batam, are trying to develop better hospitals so that people can seek treatment here," Rudi said.

Given Batam’s strategic location on the international trade route, its health sector has enormous potential, he noted. For this reason, BP Batam is building an International Standard Health Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sekupang.

Based on data from BP Batam, in the past five years, the number of Indonesians seeking treatment abroad, especially in Malaysia and Singapore, has increased due to several factors such as proximity, services, and greater trust.

Rudi said this situation has led to more than Rp100 trillion of the country's potential foreign exchange flowing abroad every year.

At the end of 2021, BP Batam Hospital developed five health services as part of preparations for the International Health SEZ, such as treatment procedures for heart disease, breast cancer, urinary tract, and psychiatric therapies.

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The cooperation between BP Batam and the Health Ministry was formalized by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the secretary-general of the Health Ministry, Kunta Wibawa Dasa Nugraha, and BP Batam’s Rudi.

Rudi said he expected the signing of the agreement to increase the synergy between the two institutions for developing and strengthening the health sector in Batam city.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is supporting BP Batam in developing the health sector in the area.

"I am very supportive of BP Batam who wants to strengthen hospital facilities. This aligns with the transformation (undergoing) in the Health Ministry," secretary-general Nugraha said.

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Translator: Andi F, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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