Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - All provinces in Papua have achieved Universal Health Coverage (UHC), according to the National Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).

A region is declared to have achieved UHC if at least 95 percent of the entire population already participates in the National Health Insurance (JKN) program.

Regional Deputy Director of BPJS Kesehatan Mangisi Raja Simarmata stated here on Monday that as of March 1, 2023, the JKN program had covered more than 98 percent of the population in all Papuan provinces.

He noted that since 2018, regions in Papua's provinces had achieved UHC.

"We would like to express our highest gratitude and appreciation to all officials of provincial governments throughout Papua for achieving UHC," Simarmata remarked.

He explained that the achievement of UHC is not the end while emphasizing that local governments in Papua should be able to maintain and increase the number of active JKN participants to ensure that their citizens are covered by health services.

"The participation of local governments in improving health service facilities is crucial, so that people, who seek treatment, can be served in their region, without the need to be referred to outside Papua," Simarmata stated.

He remarked that on Tuesday (March 14), the government will bestow awards on provincial governments in Papua, which include Papua, Central Papua, South Papua, Papua Pegunungan, West Papua, and Southwest Papua, that have successfully achieved UHC.

Some 38 of the 42 districts and cities in Papua will also receive the award.

On a separate occasion, the West Papua Provincial Government and seven district governments under it -- Manokwari, Fakfak, Kaimana, Bintuni Bay, Wondama Bay, South Manokwari, and the Pegunungan Arfak -- had achieved UHC at 105.2 percent in 2023.

Head of the BPJS Kesehatan Office in Manokwari Dr Dwi Sulistyono Yudo on Monday accentuated the importance of providing health insurance for the community as a form of protection and sustainable health services.

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Translator: Qadri P, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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