15 October 2021. PerMaTa South Sulawesi and YDTI hosted a two-day workshop in Makassar to discuss the precarious situation of persons affected by leprosy needing advanced wound care and reaction treatment, assistive devices and reconstructive surgery.
The current national health insurance system (JKN / BPJS) no longer provides for the care that persons affected by leprosy could receive until a few years ago.
For example, people with complicated ulcers are now only treated on an outpatient basis of the former leprosy hospital in Makassar, and then have to obtain further care at the local hospital in their home district or at home. This system does not take into account the fact that stigma and discrimination make it difficult for persons affected by leprosy to seek help in general hospitals or even the local health center, while at home they do not have the luxury of healing their wounds with bed rest for weeks or months.
A number of key stakeholders attended the meeting, which aimed to develop a policy brief as a basis for advocacy to improve health care for people affected by leprosy. Representatives of Tadjuddin Chaled Hospital -the former leprosy hospital in Makassar- and of the provincial national health insurance they gave presentations and stated that they are already working according to the applicable regulations. Wasors (leprosy supervisors in the districts), the leader of the Leprosy Control Program in South Sulawesi, the director of the general hospital in Jeneponto district, as well as persons affected by leprosy from a number of different districts shared their mostly negative experiences with the current system and we all explored together why they current regulations leave persons affected by leprosy behind. Doddy Tumanduk from YDTI facilitated this process and will lead the development of the policy paper based on the results of this workshop.