National medical services in Indonesia is based on the interactions of three main components. The first layer of medical services exists in the form of Puskesmas, responsible for primary medical services. A reference system involving hospitals serves as further support for cases that Puskesmas cannot handle. This includes local hospitals, the second layer that provides secondary medical services, and provincial or national specialized hospitals, as the third layer responsible for tertiary medical services. Secondary and tertiary medical services need to have an ability to produce a quick and accurate diagnosis in order to maintain quality.
To date, diagnosis-supporting instruments in Indonesian hospitals still focus on conventional methods such as clinical examinations that are complemented by laboratory, radiologic, and endoscopic examinations. These methods need more sophisticated means to refine the accuracy of the diagnoses. Many modern diagnosis-supporting instruments have been introduced, both the invasive and non-invasive. Each has its own advantages and disanvantages.
Ultrasound devices are some of the non-invasive instruments whose implementation are already so advanced in USA, Japan, Australia, and some European countries. In Indonesia these devices are relatively new, they’re being introduced in 1977. Consequently, the number of experts able to operate these sophisticated instruments correctly is also still very small.
As a very sensitive instrument, ultrasound needs an expert handling to produce an accurate diagnosis. In untrained hands, the diagnosis made will be influenced by possibilities of positive or negative false findings. Provincial and national hospitals admitedly already have an adequate number of experts, but the majority of local hospitals don’t, although perhaps they already own the instruments.
ISUM as the official organization for Indonesian ultrasound experts feels obliged to help the Indonesian Ministry of Health and the Indonesian Medical Association to improve the quality of ultrasound medical services in hospitals or other medical facilities. This education and training program, specifically, aims to:
- Educate general practitioners working at hospitals and other health/medical facilities to use ultrasound devices in order to help make diagnoses.
- Educate clinicians to master ultrasound techniques as a diagnosis-supporting tool.
- Prepare specialists in a wide range of disciplines as consultant sonologists.