Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry expanded the reach of promotion and prevention programs against heart diseases to the integrated health post (posyandu) level.

According to the press statement here on Saturday, the heart screening services, including lipid profile and hypertension tests, were earlier available only down to the public health centre (puskesmas) level.

"The heart screening (service) will no longer focus at puskesmas, as we decide to expand it to the posyandu level," Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono Harbuwono stated while opening the 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Indonesian Heart Association here on Friday (May 26).

As the number of posyandus nationwide reaches 300 thousand, and the total number of puskesmas is only at 10 thousand, expanding heart screening services to the posyandu level will help in earlier detection of heart diseases for more residents, he stated.

Expanding heart screening services to the posyandu level will be supported by providing competent health officers, the deputy minister stated.

He noted that the ministry had trained 1.5 million health officers to detect risk factors of heart diseases and trained general practitioners and nurses to perform electrocardiography (ECG), a procedure to examine heart functions.

"Early detection of heart disease is important to reduce its risk factor. We are also pushing for it to be covered in (national insurance) BPJS Kesehatan," Harbuwono stated.

The government is also striving to improve the facilities of referral health centers for heart diseases, including by cooperating with regional authorities and domestic and foreign hospital managements to assist around 150 hospitals, he noted.

The Health Ministry had also signed a cooperation agreement with 24 provincial authorities to develop services in regional hospitals and enable 37 hospitals to perform heart surgeries and interventions, the deputy minister remarked.

"Through equitable distribution and optimization of national hospital networks, we target heart catheterization can be performed in all regions in Indonesia by 2027 and the progress to reach 50 percent by 2024," Harbuwono remarked.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) data, coronary heart disease killed 245,343 people in Indonesia in 2019, while hypertension heart disease caused the deaths of 50,620 Indonesians in the same year.

Moreover, BPJS Kesehatan reported that the cost of handling heart diseases in 2022 alone had reached Rp12.14 trillion (US$808.6 million).

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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