Is Only the Rich that Can be a Doctor?


Before its establishment in 1950, the Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia (FMUI) was known as STOVIA. In STOVIA, there were only two social classes allowed to study medicine. They were either Indonesian people with high economic and social status or the Dutch people. Therefore, the amount of doctors in Indonesia is countable.

However, since Orde Baru, the quality of life of most Indonesian has improved due to the economical and political stability maintained by the government. Parallel with the improvement, the demand for adequate medical services was also increased. Therefore, the government published a policy that endorsed increased production of medical doctors. Parents who wish to see their child serve as a doctor could submit the application to available state-owned faculty of medicine without any fear of facing discrimination related with economical/social status. The government’s sole prerequisite was that the child managed to pass the entrance test, named UMPTN. This policy effectively boosted the number of doctors in Indonesia.

After the initial production, the next big steps were maintaining the increase in production and the distribution of the product. Up till now, the distribution of medical practitioner remains a problem. The low quality of health service in periphery area of Indonesia is deemed to be caused by interaction of both lack of facility and lack of personnel. And lack of personnel is related with low rate of production and uneven distribution. This fact is proven by the ratio of doctor and patient in Indonesia, which is only 1:10000. A number which is far beyond developed countries such as USA, whose ratio is 1:100. To do some catch-up production, more time is definitely needed. The effort which heads toward increasing production has been carefully implemented to produce the best result. One of the efforts is to open more faculties of medicine across Indonesia; the recent ones opened are Faculty of Medicine IAIN Syarif Hidayatullah.

But not all the steps taken by the government is supportive to the policy. Recent change on status of state-owned university (BHP to BHMN) gives rise to a new problem. This step has caused all state-owned universities to fund their activities with their own money, which, in my view, will severely damage the pace of doctor production since most of the universities compensate the loss of the government support by creating a new entrance to the university, which demands higher submission and tuition fee, which is clearly not affordable by the poor one. Surely this step will set us back to beginning of our struggle, when only the rich can pursuit their dream of becoming a doctor. primz,chrisen

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One Response to “Is Only the Rich that Can be a Doctor?”

  1. almahira Says:

    hm,, kompleks yah?

    minggu lalu diceritain orang, tentang peluang jadi dokter spesialis. katanya harus kenceng duitnyalah, ininya, itunya..

    jadi bingung sendiri..agak jiper juga dengernya. walaupun kesempatan itu pasti ada buat saya, tapi ga tau kenapa ada perasaan ga adil.

    mungkin, biarkan waktu yang menjawab kenapa bisa begitu?

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