Hospy shopping , clock ticking — MRI unit down at Indonesia's largest public hospital

We’ve been seeking treatment for Pak Fadil for several months at Cipto Public Hospital (RS Cipto) in Central Jakarta. He has oral cancer. It’s getting hard to speak or eat.

So far we’ve done tests at Cipto. So many tests. Including the biopsy. We were happy to to have a biopsy — tumor on the tongue, stage II, squamous cell cancer. We were at the Fatmawati public hospital in South Jakarta for several months without even getting a biopsy.

But at RS Cipto we are concerned that, since we are using the state sponsored insurance system — SKTM in this case — we may be “standing in line” between too many paying customers. We’re also concerned about the quality of the health care. After months, still no operation, no radiation, no good painkillers. Ultram AKA Tramadol doesn’t help Pak Fadil sleep or eat. (In fact, Ultram keeps you from going to sleep).

Yesterday, treating doctors at RS Cipto told us to go find another hospital because the MRI unit at Cipto is broken. Without the MRI, Pak Fadil can’t begin radiation therapy as scheduled next week (19 May).

We have checked with various hospitals, including MMC, Pelni and Pertamina and it’s harder than you might think to walk in and “borrow” and MRI for half price, which is what you pay when you’re an SKTM patient. Of course, we’re concerned that there’s a problem with the system itself.