Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin met with Elon Musk to explore cooperation between the government of Indonesia and Starlink, Musk's satellite network, in providing internet access at remote health centers.

"This is our effort to ensure equitable health services in the country," Sadikin said in his statement here on Sunday.

Sadikin explored cooperation with Starlink to provide internet access at health centers located in disadvantaged, frontier, and outermost (3T) areas.

According to him, local health centers (puskesmas) must have adequate infrastructure because they are the frontline in realizing healthy communities.

Some 2,200 of the 10 thousand existing puskesmas still do not have access to the internet, the ministry's data states.

Moreover, there are 11,100 smaller puskesmas that are not connected to the internet.

"With internet access, health service consultations can be done online," Sadikin said.

With good internet access, he said, online training for health workers can also be carried out.

Increased internet connectivity, he continued, can open wide access to health services and improve communication between regions.

That way, reporting from healthcare facilities can take place at any time, he added.

"This activity also supports the digitalization agenda of Indonesia's health transformation," he said.

Starlink is the name of a satellite network developed by the private spaceflight company SpaceX to provide low-cost internet to remote areas.

Starlink is the world's first and largest satellite constellation, using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting online activities like streaming and video calls.

Currently, healthcare facilities in the Philippines, Rwanda, Mozambique, and Nigeria already use Starlink.

Earlier, the Republic of Indonesia Satellite-1 (SATRIA-1) was launched into space from the Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC 40) in Florida, the United States, at 6:21 p.m. on Sunday (June 18, 2023) local time or 5:21 a.m. on Monday (June 19) Jakarta time.

The SATRIA-1 satellite is expected to support connectivity in regions throughout the country.

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Translator: Sean M, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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