The first-ever international Tzu Chi Hospital is scheduled to open its doors in Jakarta, Indonesia by the middle of 2021. Recently, Indonesia’s Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, took a tour of the nearly completed facilities and applauded the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation for its humanitarian efforts.
“As the Minister of Health of Indonesia, I am very happy to see a charity organization willing to build the hospital,” Minister Budi said. “There is a shortage of public hospitals and doctors in Indonesia. A private hospital that can join the medical system to provide better medical services to more people is needed the most. After visiting the hospital today, I think the hardware equipment of this hospital is very good.”
Nearly, more than 90% of the hospital building and its infrastructure has already been built, and the installation of medical equipment is also coming to an end. By the time Tzu Chi Hospital in Indonesia goes into full operation, it will boast a capacity of 520 beds and will be equipped with the most advanced medical equipment, the hospital’s website says. In addition, all equipment will be integrated with the Hospital Information System (HIS) to improve the safety of patients and their families. With the presence of Tzu Chi Hospital, it is hoped that Indonesians who need advanced medical care will no longer need to go abroad for treatment. There will also be a dedicated COVID-19 ward, taking up an entire section of the hospital to provide care for those who contract the virus that has ravaged the world over the past two years, according to the hospital’s official Facebook page.
“Tzu Chi Hospital is not a for-profit organization, and the advanced equipment purchased is done so for consideration of its future patients,” Satyanegara, the Convener of Tzu Chi hospital said. “I am very happy that the Minister is very satisfied with it today, and I also hope that the hospital can make more contributions in the future.”
After visiting the various floors of the hospital, Minister Budi acknowledged the dedication of Tzu Chi Hospital in the purchase of medical equipment and hoped that it will serve more critically ill patients in the future.
“I very much agree with Tzu Chi’s concept of human-centered medical care,” the Minister added. “I hope that Tzu Chi Hospital will become the leading hospital in the country in the future.”
As the hospital prepares for its opening, Tzu Chi volunteers in Jakarta are also readying themselves to serve as medical volunteers in accordance with the operating methods of Tzu Chi hospitals in Taiwan.
“The establishment of Tzu Chi Hospital has given us the opportunity to serve patients,” Suryawan Putih, a Tzu Chi volunteer said. “In the future, I hope that our volunteers can be a bridge between patients, family members, and medical staff in the hospital.”
The first Tzu Chi hospital abroad will be a milestone to the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation’s medical mission. It is hoped the organization’s medical humanities will become deeply rooted in the Muslim country. But the soon to open hospital is not the only charitable deed Tzu Chi has carried out in Indonesia.
Before the Eid al-Fitr, a traditional holiday as important to the Muslim community as Chinese New Year is to the Chinese, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation partnered with Bank Mestika to distribute supplies to impoverished citizens in the city of Medan. The donation totaled $14,000.
For the last two years, Indonesian citizens have celebrated Eid al-Fitr under harsh conditions as many lacked food and even basic necessities. In order to help alleviate this dire situation, Tzu Chi Medan Office has given out 10 thousand bags of supplies.
“The distribution today mainly helps sanitation workers, public facility workers, police officers, and traffic police from 21 towns in our city,” said Bobby Afif Nasution, the Mayor of Medan. “These people have little income therefore with the supplies distributed, they will have a better time during Eid al-Fitr.”
The supply bags given out during Eid al-Fitr included five kilograms of rice, two liters of cooking oil, and two kilograms of sugar. Though these were simple fares, they would be enough to feed families desperate for food during the festival.
Elsewhere, a truck of food and supplies including rice, noodles, drinks, masks, and stationery was delivered to Panti Adinda, an orphanage in West Jakarta, Indonesia. The children awaited its arrival eagerly.
“Thank you, Tzu Chi, for coming over to send us the supplies, which are very practical for our children,” said Hj. Nani S. Sudarmo, the superintendent of the orphanage. “Especially when the Eid al-Fitr is approaching, I hope [children in the orphanage] can spend a warm and happy holiday like ordinary children.”
For the sake of epidemic prevention, the volunteers did not interact with the children one by one. But their loving kindness was delivered to each child, warming their hearts. The same loving care was also sent to Tzu Chi Ground in Indonesia, where the volunteers organized an event to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with the security guards, engineering, and cleaning staff with anti-epidemic measures observed.
“Although we have different beliefs, we share our love and care with each other,” said Naniek Handajani, a volunteer. “Especially in Tzu Chi, we always uphold the spirit of great love.”
In a challenging time like this, when the entire world is rampant with disease and suffering, love and mutual help still illuminate the darkness and give us the hope to pull through this – together, it is the only possible way. Please consider supporting the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation’s relief effort by donating to our charity drives to help those in need in Indonesia.