Dr. Lie A. Dharmawan: Faith and nationalism

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – It has been ten years since Dr. Lie Agustinus Dharmawan founded doctorShare. The first doctorShare program launched was the Nutrition Nursing Home in Kei Island, Southeast Maluku. A floating hospital was launched by Dr. Lie Dharmawan as the first hospital in Indonesia on a Pinisi sailing ship, which embarked for the first time on March 16, 2013. The floating hospital was given the name RSA dr. Lie A. Dharmawan or the Dr. Lie Dharmawan Floating Hospital.

doctorShare is a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on healthcare and humanitarian aid. Officially established on November 19, 2009, doctoreShare provides holistic, independent and impartial medical care to those most in need and without social security.

Now, doctorShare has three floating hospitals. In 2015, the second floating hospital RSA Nusa Waluya I and the Flying Doctor program were launched. Then in 2018, the RSA Nusa Waluya II was launched for a long-term program in the Tanimbar Islands, Maluku. 

The RSA Nusa Waluya II is the first floating hospital in the world to be erected on a barge. The floating hospital has 61 operating rooms, an emergency room, an ICU, an inpatient ward, a radiology room, a laboratory, a pharmacy, a paediatrician, ophthalmologist, dentist, and OB-GYN clinic. 

A total of 9,938 people have been helped by RSA Nusa Waluya II during its stay at Pantoloan Harbor, Palu from November 16, 2018 to February 15, 2019. 3,972 types of medical services were given by the RSA Nusa Waluya II during its dock at Pantoloan Harbor, Palu following the major earthquake there. 

“It is not because of ability of wealth, but everything is more about empathy. Thank you to all parties, volunteers, who have helped resulting in doctorShare being able to open medical access to remote areas,” said Lie in a talk show on the one decade of doctoreShare in Baywalk Mall, Pluit, Jakarta on Saturday, November 23.

Dr. Lie stated that the two things that moved him to serve through doctorShare were, “Faith and nationalism. That is our foundation. The two cannot be separated,” said Lie.

Lie has proven himself. What he has done with doctorShare is not separate from the effort to free Indonesians from the difficulty of receiving medical care. He also asked those in attendance to yell “Merdeka (Independence)” in their greeting. 

DR. Lie has had interesting experiences while on duty in Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara on his floating hospital. “At the time, there were five mothers who had to have caesarean operations. Because of local beliefs, the husbands forbid their wives from being operated on. The mothers left the boat,” he told. 

“We then found these mothers and explained to their husbands that if they didn’t undergo the operations the mother and their babies would be in danger. Through a persuasive approach they were willing to approve of the caesarean section.”

The five mothers and their babies made it. “I finally had five grandchildren, four of the babies were girls and were named Dharmawanti, and the one boy was named Dharmawan.”

Dr. Lie is still enthusiastic in carrying out his humanitarian mission with doctorShare; however, he hopes for support from the government. “Especially regarding fuel. All this time, because of regulations we have been forced to buy diesel at the industry price, without subsidies. It can be twice as expensive,” he said.

The regulation means that subsidized diesel can only be given to fishermen, and boats no heavier than eight tons. “Indeed, according to the regulations, we may not receive subsidized diesel. However, we hope there will be an exception for floating hospitals,” he said. The doctorShare floating hospitals do not impose any charge on their patients. 

doctorShare hopes to empower the public to escape suffering holistically, by their own means. Meanwhile, doctorShare also hopes to improve Indonesian’s overall health, especially in east Indonesia, through holistic medical care and continuous innovative programs based on volunteerism. (rp)