Cancer treatment at RS Cipto (Central Jakarta) — what to expect?

Our experience is mixed, so far. Compared to RS Fatmawati, another large public hospital located in South Jakarta. We felt we were in good hands. Cipto hospital has all the equipment and 100 years of foreign and local medical expertise. We saw plenty of other cancer patients being treated, even though they were not wealthy.

However, we realized the staff was very overworked. I sat in on the initial patient consultation when the biopsy results were delivered. The  doctor in charge couldn’t keep the cases straight. He spent some time informing my father-in-law about the treatment that was being given to another patient and he kept forgetting Pak Fadil’s name.

Once the young doctor got his cases straightened he warned the patient in very certain “There will be an operation and you, sir, should be prepared to lose your tongue.” In fact, doctors from “luxury hospital” MMC and top tumor clinic Proklamasi had already told patient that a hemiglossectomy was likely in order.

But within about 10 minutes of utter confusion the doctor’s recommendation had changed — no surgery possible.  Instead, the answer was radiation and chemotherapy.

Two or three other patients and two or three doctors were in the same small room with us. No one was waiting patiently for fear they’d lose their chance to talk to connect. The junior doctors were calling senior doctors on the phone repeatedly.

However, the doctors were friendly and trained to work under high stress conditions including the ones I created with my gentle on-the-spot complaint about “the patient’s right to information.” They admitted that they were overworked and slowed down their delivery just a bit.

“It’s OK. We understand. It’s good for patients to ask these kind of questions” they told the impatient bule.

Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusomo (RS Cipto) is, I believe is Indonesia’s largest public hospital. It’s also a mature hospital (established in Dutch times around 1919) and boasts a new VIP facility. The radiation therapy unit has it’s own website.