Row over Indonesia new-born 'denied treatment'


An Indonesian health official has acknowledged a shortage of intensive care units for babies, after the case of a new-born shocked the nation.

Five-day-old Dera Nur Anggraini died on Saturday due to breathing difficulties.

Her father said she was refused treatment by at least eight public and private hospitals.

Dien Emawati, head of Jakarta's public health office, said some of the hospitals had no neo-natal intensive care units or had been full.

The case of baby Dera has turned into a national media frenzy, with newspapers and television channels following it relentlessly, says the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta.

She was born with a throat deformity and her family said all attempts to get her admitted to a bigger hospital for treatment failed.

Her father has also been quoted as saying that he could not afford to pay the fees requested at one private hospital.

Dera's twin sister, Dara, is reportedly being treated at a hospital in Jakarta, with her condition is improving.

Ms Emawati acknowledged that there was a shortage of facilities for new-borns requiring intensive care in the capital.

She said there are only 143 neo-natal ICU units in government and private hospitals in Jakarta, a city with a population of 10 million people.

In 2011, Indonesia passed an ambitious healthcare law pledging to provide health insurance to all of the country's 240 million citizens from January 2014, our correspondent adds.

But critics have questioned the sense of such a law when current healthcare facilities are already heavily over-burdened and under-resourced.

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