Connecting in Indonesia – Dr Michael Burke

HealthServe Australia: Bringing health, hope and wholeness


from Luke’s Journal 2021 | Fire in the Belly 2021 | Vol.26 No.1

Photo: HSA in PNG

Editor’s Note: 

Living in the digital age makes our world both larger and smaller. Social media allows us to immerse ourselves in communities with ideas similar to our own, often unaware of differing points-of-view. On the other hand, technology can also interrupt this inward lens, drawing our attention to different people and issues all over the world.

In this edition we are privileged to hear from a team engaging ‘beyond the bubble’. 

HealthServe Australia (HSA) is a Christian health and development agency that builds sustainable health programs globally. It aims to build a community’s capacity for meeting its own health needs, through partnership. Here are some reflections from a February 2020 trip to Java (before COVID halted so many mission journeys), an update regarding the PNG Healthcare Workers Manual, and an invitation…

Connecting in Indonesia  

Dear Luke’s Journal

The pandemic had barely taken off when four enthusiastic leaders left Australia’s east coast for culturally-rich Yogyakarta. Lawrence, Maddie, Jean and Michael were met by friends from the Indonesian Christian Medical Fellowship. Dr Maria Widagdo (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Duta Wacana Christian University) extended a warm welcome and we immediately felt at home.

HealthServe Australia’s vision is motivating and grounding. It seeks global health, transformed by accessible, compassionate and high-quality health care for all. 

The focus of this project was teaching whole person Medicine using the PRIME model (Partnerships in International Medical Education) – Together with our Indonesian partners, Dr Ronald and Dr Teguh, we explored various models of whole person care. We set the stage for medical consultation with a framework that asks: ‘What are the physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs of the presenting patient … and of the doctor?’ 

We specifically examined the evidence behind different strategies and the practical aspects of making it work. Hot topics included adverse childhood events, stress, burnout and self-care. Over thirty health professionals were in attendance. The program was so successful that a subsequent visit, on the theme of palliative care, is scheduled for 2021.

One of the beauties of HealthServe Australia is the way it links with other program partners, empowering their ministries. On our Indonesian tour we connected with two such organisations. The first was Torch for Life. We were encouraged by meeting with their representatives, Dr Jenny, Dr Enny and Elia. Torch for Life equips local community members to be a key health resource at times of disaster, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. 

In Bali, we met our partners in the ministry Gerasa Bali. This organisation works as a bridge of peace for local vulnerable people, especially women, children and those with blood borne viruses.

Perhaps HealthServe Australia is a group you would like to connect with. They partner in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare settings to deliver holistic, evidence-based, community and individually-focussed health care programs. HealthServe Australia is registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).
Join with us and increase your vision, aims and values. 

Note: HSA runs a scholarship program for students and recent graduates with an interest in these visions and aims, via the HeartStart program

Dr Michael Burke    
Dr Michael Burke is Executive Officer of HealthServe Australia 

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