Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has lauded the inauguration of floating hospitals Laksamana Malahayati (FHLM) and Kapal Kesehatan Rakyat, which will serve the residents of remote areas in the country.

"Mr. President (Joko Widodo) always says that all actions must benefit the people," he remarked at the inauguration of the ships at Tanjung Priok Port on Saturday.

He noted that there are a number of philosophical reasons for choosing the name Laksamana (Admiral) Malahayati for the vessel, as she was a national hero who came from the far west of Indonesia.

Malahayati was the chief of Inong Bale, a troop consisting of the widows of the late soldiers of the Aceh Sultanate, who fought against colonists around the 16th century. She was conferred the title of national hero by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in November 2017.

Furthermore, the minister stated that the operation of Kapal Kesehatan Rakyat is very important, considering that Indonesia is a vast maritime country, with water covering two-thirds of its territory.

"More ships like this should be built to serve more (remote) regions which are located quite far," he said.

FHLM is a 130-meter long ship that has a capacity of 200 beds. It is equipped with a full range of medical facilities, including operating rooms, laboratories, and a radiology department.

The ship also has a helipad and a dock, which allows it to provide medical care in remote areas.

It will have 12 crew members and carry 9 medical personnel, said the ship's operation coordinator, Vice Admiral (retd.) Agus Setiadji.

A number of surgeries can be conducted on the floating hospital, including cleft lip and cataract surgeries.

The vessel was inaugurated by the fifth Indonesian President, Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The development of the ship was supported by the Mega Gotong Royong Foundation, a foundation under the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) led by Soekarnoputri.

She said that the ship will visit various regions in the coastal areas of the western part of Indonesia, with its final destination at Malahayati Port, Aceh Besar district, Aceh province.

Related news: Minister cites ship traffic to stress marine conservation
Related news: Indonesia, UK ink cooperation on sustainable shipping, ship building

Translator: Putu S, Genta M, Uyu L
Editor: Anton Santoso
Copyright © ANTARA 2023