ASRI currently operates a hospital that provides health care services at affordable rates, even offering non-cash payment options such as seedlings for reforestation, organic manure for sustainable farming, and native handicrafts. The communities’ key innovation is a “green credit” system, whereby villages not involved in illegal logging (verified by logging monitoring staff) receive discounts up to 70% on health care services. This system allows people to protect the resources they value, without having to worry about their families’ health and security.
Since 2007, the hospital (formerly a clinic) has treated tens of thousands of patients, with the help of the mobile clinic that travels to isolated villages. ASRI provides medical care ranging from dental, vision, and general care for communicable and non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension to poverty-related and tropical diseases like dengue fever. ASRI also runs a Directly Observed Therapy Shortcourse (DOTS) treatment program for tuberculosis and leprosy patients that requires near-daily visits, and has a nearly 0% dropout rate, which is remarkable for Indonesia, which has one of the highest rates of TB in the world.
In 2016, ASRI constructed it’s Community Hospital and Training Center (CHTC) in response to a lack of surgical, intensive care, and emergency facilities in the region. Prior to the construction of the CHTC, emergency patients often had to be transferred to distant locations over rough roads in our ambulance. The CHTC will help fill that gap with expanded medical services, while allowing patients to continue to access high-quality, affordable care. As of 2017, the hospital is phasing in services over the next few years.
Patients often come to ASRI first because of the reputation for treating patients with compassion and a high standard of care. The hospital is run by an entirely Indonesian staff and ASRI builds its medical staff capacities through exchange programs with physicians at Yale and Stanford. Providing high-quality care is not only an aim in itself, but a healthier population with fewer and lower medical bills has less incentive to log to pay for expensive or emergency treatments.
The hospital was designed to serve as a completely integrated, community-focused resource and, in addition to medical services, provides weekly education about environmental conservation and hygiene to community members.
*Photo credit: Bryan Watt