Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry stated that telerobotic surgery can address some issues in healthcare, such as limited medical personnel and geographical challenges, thereby allowing the public to access more medical services.

"You can imagine that with robotic surgery, the surgery takes place in Kalimantan, while the doctor is in Jakarta. The doctor operates in Jakarta, while the patient stays in Kalimantan," Deputy Minister of Health Dante Saksono Harbuwono stated here on Wednesday.

At a press conference for the Road to Urological Association of Asia (UAA) Congress 2024, Harbuwono remarked that telerobotic surgery is an example of technological pursuit in the medical field that also enables more efficient health expenditure.

He explained that currently, Indonesia has some 700 urologists. However, the preferred doctor-population ratio of 1 to 1000 is not met, as Indonesia has some 270 million people, the deputy minister pointed out.

He also stressed that uronephrology diseases are among the ailments with the highest treatment costs, such as cardiovascular diseases. He cited the 2020 Global Cancer Statistics data, which showed that some 13 thousand prostate cancer cases are recorded nationally.

"On the other hand, (cases of) prostate enlargement, tied to declining hormones in older men, are also increasing. The cases are 97 thousand in Indonesia," he remarked.

Hence, he expressed support for the Indonesian Association of Urologists' (InaUA) initiative that pursues technology development, including telerobotic surgery, in order to improve urology health services.

President Elect of the Urological Association of Asia (UAA), Ponco Birowo, stated that the testing of telerobotic surgery in Indonesia will take place during the UAA Congress on September 5-8, 2024.

"God willing, this September, there will be (a trial). The doctor will be in Nusa Dua, while the patient will be in Beijing, some 8,500 kilometers away," Birowo remarked.

He said that apart from addressing human resources and geographical issues, telerobotic surgery also offers other advantages, such as better accuracy, minimal pain, and reduced risk of infections that may arise if the patient travels.

Moreover, he opined that such surgery seemed interesting to be applied in Indonesia, considering the country is made up of several islands.

Some countries, such as China, Japan, and India, have developed this type of technology, he pointed out.

Although telerobotic surgery is pioneered by urologists, Birowo stated that it can also be used in other types of surgery, such as childbirth, digestive surgical procedures, and ear, nose, and throat operations.

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Reporter: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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