hospital corridor
The isolation ward where I was hospitalized

My name is Aya and I am 21 years old. I am a university student in one of the universities in West Java, Indonesia. When I got infected by Covid-19, my doctor diagnosed me with a digestive system infection and prescribed antibiotics, but when the pain still didn’t get any better, the doctor had to refer me to the hospital to get further treatment.

Access to the hospital was not easy because of the mobility restrictions in the country. Additionally, hospitals in Bandung were over-capacity with Covid-19 patients and could hardly accept new patients. When I finally found a spot at a hospital in Cimahi area (outside Bandung City), the doctors rejected me first assuming that I only suffer from an indigestion. But after my laboratory and PCR tests, I was admitted as a Covid-19 patient in the emergency isolation ward. The isolation ward was over-crowded with around 40 patients of severe symptoms and understaffed with health works, thus services were insufficient. The situation in the ward was getting scary because of patients’ pain screams, that the health workers couldn’t handle. Many patients died there due to lack of oxygen supply.

On Monday, I experienced a shortness of breath to which I only received the required oxygen supply on Friday. Health workers were under a lot of stress. Once a health worker visited my room and cried because she could not bear with the burden of situation. At last, I was transferred to the government’s recovery centre. The health services provided by government in the recovery centre were very good - there were available health workers 24 hours of the day. The patients were provided three times meal a day and medications. And the most satisfying thing was that the health services were free. After 14 days of isolation in the recovery centre, my condition got better, and the result of PCR came back negative. I went back home.

Throughout my COVID-19 journey, I learned many lessons: Although health services in Indonesia are quite good, the administration process is still complicated and ineffective and the health system needs many improvements. If registration services become digitalized, it can improve access. In my experience, I could only access to health services because of my family’s help. I also learned the importance to give appreciation to the health workers who fight to save the people despite the unpredictable situation and the lack of Covid 19 medications.

health-worker in isolation ward
Pic 2: A health-worker working to save patients in a dire situation in the isolation ward.

Note: Each story has been edited for clarity and in cases, shortened for fit on the UHC2030 webpage.

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