Our partners at Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) operate a hospital that provides high quality, affordable health care to the communities surrounding Gunung Palung National Park. The hospital is an integrated, community-focused resource. The communities’ key innovation is a “green credit” system, whereby villages who don't participate in illegal logging (verified by logging monitoring staff) receive discounts of up to 70% on health care services.
The ASRI hospital is accessible for even the poorest patients, allowing them to pay for care with items other than cash.
For example, patients can pay with seedlings for reforestation, organic manure for sustainable farming, or handicrafts.
This system allows people to protect the resources they value, without having to worry about their families’ health and security.
Since 2007, ASRI has treated tens of thousands of patients - including visiting patients through a mobile clinic program that travels to isolated villages. ASRI provides a broad range of medical care including dental, vision, and general care. They treat patients for all types of ailments: from 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. To make sure that these patients are following their treatment protocol, community health workers from ASRI must visit them regularly, almost daily. As a result, the DOTS program has a dropout rate of approximately 0%. This is a remarkable success for Indonesia, which has one of the highest rates of TB in the world.
With support from Health In Harmony, ASRI has been able to expand its services. In 2016 we constructed the Community Hospital and Training Center (CHTC) in response to a lack of surgical, intensive care, and emergency facilities in the region. Before we built the CHTC, emergency patients often had to be transferred to distant locations over rough roads in our ambulance. The CHTC helps fill that gap with expanded medical services. The hospital is continuing to phase in a range of services over the next few years.
Patients often come to ASRI first because of their reputation for treating patients with compassion and a high standard of care.
The hospital is run by an entirely Indonesian staff. ASRI builds its medical staff capacities through exchange programs with physicians at Yale and Stanford among others. But providing high-quality care is not the only aim of the ASRI hospital. A healthier population with fewer and lower medical bills has less incentive to log to pay for expensive or emergency treatments.
*Photo credit: Bryan Watt