Doctors refusing treatment to patients presenting at a number of health posts have led to revelations that the Jembrana free health card, issued by the regency as a local alternative to the provincial card for low income families, is being refused at some clinics in the regency.
The dispute came to light last Thursday when a doctor at the Yeh Kuning health post, near Medewi, refused to treat a 13-year-old child with fever because only the Jembrana card was presented.
The child and another are now being treated at home.
The dispute centres on whether Jembrana’s regency health card is valid for free doctor or midwife treatment applicable to the provincial government’s free health-card system for low-income families. Some clinics are insisting on payment from holders of the Jembrana card.
Under the provincial free health scheme, clinics and health posts are reimbursed by the provincial government for treatment provided to health-card holders.
Jembrana legislator Nyoman S. Kusumayasa said health services should not be refused to anyone in need and if funding was the problem Jembrana should release Rp1.4 billion (US$155,000) being held until the next budget.
He said the problem was one of leadership and called for the head of the Jembrana card scheme to be sacked.