What we’ve learned at RS Cipto (Apa yang kita sudah mengerti di RS Cipto)

Mona feels like she has a better handle on the paperwork side of Cipto. So far the government-guaranteed health card is working. Still, there’s a fair bit of *nego* goes on before you know just how much you’ll be paying. Reason is because each of the Indonesian provinces has a slightly different version of the state subsidized health scheme. So even people on different sides of Jakarta are hearing a different story when they come up to the cashier. Also, it depends on how much you *can* pay. You will need cash at the “free” government hospital — plenty. Because you’ll be coming back again and again as your prepare for your operation — a lot of boxes, windows and things to check. To get you ready for surgery you’ll need about 4 or 5 whole days (means you spend the whole day at the hospital 4 or 5 times). Even if you’re camping out on the sidewalk outside the RS at night,  you have to eat. And you need money to get to Cipto hospital form wherever (in Indonesia) you live.

You see some very ill patients at Cipto because it has taken them a long time to gather the knowledge and money, do the papers, organize transportation, interpreters, interim caregivers, etc. Once you’ve got it, head on into Central Jak and begin negotiating the unknowns. Needless to say, if any of your paperwork is sloppy, they’ll simply close your case and you’ll have to start over. What does this involve? First you go to your “neighborhood unit chief” (the Pak. RT) on your block. Tell him you’re sick and pay him a buck or so in “uang rokok” (smoking money). And he’ll give you a signature. Next step is the Pak RW, also in your neighborhood. People tend to wait too long to get checked. Bring needlepoint or a novel or a blog to write. Taking into account Jakarta traffic, going to hospital (as an outpatient) always take the same time — 1 whole day .