I spent my last day of my stay in Bali at the University of Denpasar. The next day I was flying out to Singapore. I like hanging out in universities as you can tell a lot about a country by simply observing life happen on a campus.
That day I was meeting with a group of students in the Public Health program for an informal discussion. The goal was to compare the Indonesian and the Canadian health systems, to the best of our knowledge. My personal interest focused mainly the elements that seem so natural to us, but that are done differently elsewhere.
It was an interesting time to have such a discussions, because Indonesia had implemented two month prior (January 2014) a public health care insurance program to give equal access to health care to its population. The students seemed to think it was a good thing, but they did mention that the program was not well understood both by practitioners and the general public.
I was surprised by how little difference there was at first sight between the two systems. Yet, there are a few differences we could come up with.
Take the nurses for example. In Canada, we have different type of nurses based on their level of competency. In Bali, a nurse is a nurse and her job is to assist the doctor. Or take the supply of medications, they are provided by doctors and nurses. It seems they do have pharmacists, but they work only in hospitals.
Another good example of differences is the management of hospitals, which in Indonesia is provided by a head doctor while in Canada you need a master degree specialized in health care administration. Also, I’m not sure if I got this right, their ambulance are not staffed by paramedics, but by emergency nurses.
One last thing that seems to vary greatly here is the almost non existent character of CPR and first aid training.
Despite small differences, the systems seemed in relatively similar. They have clinics and hospitals. To be allowed in an hospital you need a referral by a general practitioner. The public health care insurances sounds similar as well.
The informal discussion lasted about 45 minutes and was a nice way for the students to practice their English. As for me, it was a nice way to end my time in Bali before moving on to Singapore.