'Picnic' at the Hospital
Verawati Fajrin (15) looked cheerful when playing and joking with her sister, Sofifa (4), that evening. Not seen a trace that she had spent nights in the hallway of Dr Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital Jakarta with her sister and mother.
"It was cold and there were a lot of mosquitoes [during nighttime at the hospital]. But, for my dad’s sake, I don’t mind," said the girl who was named after a legendary Indonesian badminton player.
Vera explained that she had spent almost everyday caring for his father, Fachrurir (45), who is being treated at the hospital due to renal complications. This is done every day without any complains from her. Vera's mother, Rahayu (49), justifies her daughter's story and cited that the family has spent nearly two full months at the hospital, night and day.
When nighttime comes, pillows, bolsters and blankets spread out on top of a mat that acts as their bed. In one corner of the mat, there are several boxes containing clothes. There are also bottles of mineral water seen lying nearby. If they weren’t in a hospital, this would be a set up for taking a picnic.
The family uses the hospital’s public bathroom to take a bath and washing their clothes. After washing clothes, Rahayu usually uses one corner of the hospital hallway that exposed to sunlight to dry her laundry. "If I have to go home to wash, there’ll be no one to take care of my husband," said Rahayu.
For daily food, they bought it at Cikini Market which located not too far from the hospital. The money to buy food obtained from this family eldest son, Hari (20), a college student in Computer Engineering University of Indonesia. According to Rahayu, Hari earn money from doing projects on his campus.
"I got the money for everyday needs from my son, who often works on projects in his campus. Since his father's illness, he became the backbone of our family," said Rahayu quietly.
Rahayu also get aid donations from relatives and neighbors. The neighbors also help out taking care of the family’s house during their ‘picnic’ at the hospital.
Although the family received financial aid, still it wouldn’t be enough to cover hospital bills because Rahayu’s husband illness is quite severe. However, thanks to the Community Health Insurance (Jamkesmas Program), almost all medical expenses paid by the government. They only have to pay the cost of doing a scan which about 500 thousand rupiahs (around $50). "Fortunately, Jamkesmas covered the hospital. Otherwise, poor families like our family won't able to pay hospital bills," said Rahayu.
She also hoped that aid received from Jamkesmas will continue after her husband is no longer being treated in hospital. Because, according to doctors, Fachrurir needed regular dialysis at the hospital to stay healthy in the future.
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