Jakarta (ANTARA) - The digitalization of various sectors, including health, has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and outcomes, according to Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin.

"An appendectomy costs Rp5 million (approximately US$322) in Indonesia, while in Singapore, it costs Rp50 million. This discrepancy highlights the lack of transparency in healthcare costs. Digitalization helps (address this issue)," he stated during the OJK Risk & Governance Summit in Jakarta on Thursday.

He explained that his efforts to digitalize the health sector in Indonesia began during the COVID-19 pandemic when his team facilitated online doctor consultations via telemedicine.

Sadikin said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, data on the suspects' samples were sent to the Health Ministry for future treatment with the help of digitalization.

When a COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed, the ministry connected the patients with collaborating telemedicine service providers for drug prescriptions, he added.

The prescription was then sent digitally to the pharmacy, which in turn delivered the medication to the patient via a courier service.

"For that, people applauded our ministry. Patients did not have to leave their homes, and the medicine was delivered right to their doorsteps. Digitalization made this possible," the minister remarked.

Sadikin, who previously worked as an economist, stated that health digitalization efforts were inspired by the banking system, where transaction data follows a clear flow from the shop/merchant to the server and then to the related bank.

He emphasized that implementing a similar system could significantly improve the health system in Indonesia, including the digitalization of hospital administration systems.

Health digitalization is a key focus of the Health Ministry, as outlined in the sixth pillar of health transformation, namely health technology transformation.

One example of this transformation is the Electronic Medical Record (RME), which is integrated into the SatuSehat mobile application launched on November 11, 2023.

This technology allows patients to access their visit history, doctor's diagnosis, and medication information at 2,498 health service facilities integrated into the application.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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