Free Medical Treatment for Ceremony Workers

AMLAPURA ~ A total of 151 people involved with preparations for a 10-yearly ceremony at Bali’s mother temple, Besakih, were treated free of charge for various ailments last Friday, an official said.

Head of the organization of Indonesian internists (PAPDI) Bali Dr. Made Bakta said the event was a joint effort between the PAPDI and the Bali branch of the Indonesian organization of radiology specialists (Perki).

Dr. Bakta said 30 doctors took part in the event, which he said was a way for them to support the preparations for the important ceremony, Agung Panca Bali Krama, on Wednesday.

It is held once a decade to purify Bali, and included a 70-kilometer roundtrip procession to collect holy water from the sea.

District manager of pharmaceutical company Roche, Denpasar, Lely Soesanti said most of the patients checked were elderly citizens of Besakih village, and were in good physical condition.

She said the majority of the patients had been working physically all of their lives and as a result had strong bones and good cardiovascular health.

According to Soesanti, the main ailments treated were high blood pressure, asthma and rheumatism as a result of the colder weather at the base of Bali’s highest peak, Mt. Agung volcano.

Head of Perki Prof. Wayan Wita said the PAPDI made a donation of Rp1 million (US$83) to the committee for the ceremony preparations, which the doctors and other donors added Rp3.5 million to.

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