Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry is encouraging all regional public hospitals in the 34 provinces in Indonesia to become hospitals at the main level that are capable of performing open heart surgery.

"The number of heart disease cases consumes the largest health funding in Indonesia, followed by stroke, kidney disease, and cancer amounting to Rp16.7 trillion," Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono informed during a press conference on the “First Open Heart Surgery at the provincial hospital,” which was followed online from here on Friday.

Over the past 10 years, heart disease has ranked second every year after stroke as the leading cause of death in Indonesia. This is due to the uneven access to health services and uneven distribution of health facilities, he added.

To address this gap, the Ministry of Health said that the government will establish levels of hospitals, namely level Madya hospitals capable of performing cardiac catheterization or placing heart rings, level Utama (main) hospitals capable of performing open heart surgery, and level Paripurna hospitals capable of providing integrated services, namely Harapan Kita National Heart Hospital in Jakarta.

"We will provide a Madya hospital in every 514 district/city by 2024, with a target of 50 percent. Until 2024, we also target all provinces to be able to perform open-heart surgery services," he remarked.

Harapan Kita National Heart Hospital as the central heart hospital will provide a simulation of forming a heart team, transfering technology, and transfering knowledge to hospitals in 34 provinces, Harbuwono said.

In addition to preparing facilities and infrastructure, the Ministry of Health is also supporting the development of human resources, namely, cardiovascular thoracic surgeons through a scholarship program for study at the Harapan Kita Hospital.

He noted that one of the forms of assistance from the Harapan Kita Hospital was realized through the implementation of the first open heart surgery at the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Provincial Hospital, which was successfully carried out on Friday morning.

"There are around 150 thousand heart disease patients in West Nusa Tenggara and 50 thousand of them have the potential to experience a heart attack. Some of them are no longer able to carry out cardiac catheterization surgery since they are already experiencing the complexity of heart block. They need open heart surgery," he informed.

Through the first open heart surgery, he said he hopes that the NTB Provincial Hospital can become more independent in providing heart-related services to people in NTB so that it no longer needs referrals outside the province.

"We will do this in all provinces in Indonesia in order to provide a more comprehensive heart service and reduce the death rate from heart disease," he said.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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