TIF Medical Advisors, Dr Michael Angastiniotis and Prof Suthat Fucharoen, were invited by the Indonesian Haematology Society to its annual conference, in order to present aspects of thalassaemia control. The opportunity was taken to review the current situation in the country as far as services for thalassaemia are concerned. In this respect after the conference the team, accompanied by Prof Djumhana, President of the Haematology Society, and Dr Amalia Wahidiyat, head of the thalassaemia centre at CIPTO hospital, visited officials in the Ministry of Health and had fruitful discussions. Also the new thalassaemia centre was visited and there was a meeting with the Thalassaemia Association (Yayasan/POPTI). The main meeting was with the Health Minister’s special advisor, Prof Akmal Taher, who explained that with the implementation of the National Health insurance scheme, which offers universal
coverage, thalassaemia stood out as one of the economically catastrophic’ diseases.
It is proposed that a National Commission is being formed, to formulate a National Policy and advise the Ministry. TIF will continue to follow developments and has offered any technical support that the Commission may request. TIF has also encouraged the Association to monitor progress and be an active advocate for change.