“Health is our priority. We do not worry about the money. We serve the poor and God will complete it,” says Sister Fransiska Hermin, DC, who works at the clinic. And yet the Star of the Sea clinic could become a model for health care renewal in Indonesia.
The Church-run Star of the Sea Clinic in Cilincing, north Jakarta is a lifesaver for 70-year-old Abdul Hakim who otherwise cannot afford medical treatment.
Sister Fransiska Hermin checks Abdul Hakim’s blood pressure at the Star of the Sea Clinic. The Muslim man earns 3,000 rupiah (about US$0.32) a day shelling scallops for local restaurants.
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“I found this clinic that offers free medical treatment to poor people like me,” he told UCA News. “I am served warmly and with friendliness here. This really touches my heart.”
The Daughters of Charity sisters opened the clinic just last year, but before that they had been providing a door-to-door health service since 1988. They also run a family health service once a month when food supplements and milk are distributed for free.
Indonesia can expect to see more clinics such as the Star of the Sea after an Indonesian Bishops’ Conference meeting in Jakarta, held from Nov. 2 to 12, decided to prioritize health care.
They said health services are a strategic issue because “they truly manifest God’s love and care for suffering people.” The Church is in the business of health care because “we follow our teacher, Jesus, who heals people for the glory of the Kingdom of God,” the bishops said.
They added, however, that the Church’s health ministry faces challenges due to a weakened spirit of service among its people, and called for a spiritual renewal to reinforce the importance of health services based on Catholic faith and morals.
The Star of the Sea clinic could become a model for this renewal.
“Health is our priority. We do not worry about the money. We serve the poor and God will complete it,” says Sister Fransiska Hermin, who works at the clinic.
Tags: Daughters of Charity, Health, Indonesia, IPS