TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - IF there are no obstacles, Indonesia will shortly have a third omnibus law. After the Job Creation Law and the Development and Reinforcement of the Financial Sector Law, we will soon have the health law. Like its ‘older siblings’, the omnibus health law was drawn up behind closed doors.
Throughout last week, Tempo reporters met with a number of sources with knowledge of the proceedings behind the drawing up of the proposed law that integrates dozens of health sector policies. From them, although officially the omnibus law was an “initiative from the House of Representatives (DPR),” we learned that the draft law came from the government? Why?
The health bill immediately triggered a polemic. A number of professional health care organizations expressed opposition to this comprehensive regulation. They lobbied a number of groups. One of the reasons behind this opposition is that the bill reduces the role of professional organizations such as the Indonesian Medical Association. The authority held by this organization generates income for senior doctors.
What are regulated in the omnibus health law? One of its aims is to increase the number of specialist doctors. At present, the ratio of specialists to patients is highly unbalanced compared to other ASEAN nations. There are signs that the existing law is responsible for the low number of specialist doctors because of all of the requirements it stipulates.
A number of Indonesian doctors working overseas have also spoken of how difficult it is to meet the requirements to practice in Indonesia. There are specialists who qualified in Europe but who are reluctant to undergo the lengthy procedures and eventually give up. Other doctors say that it takes a long time for their expertise to be recognized by national professional organizations, despite the fact that in other countries these bodies are similar to labor unions.
Whose voice should we listen to? Is it true that the government’s desire to reform the health care sector is entirely in the public interest? Or is the opposition from senior doctors just an excuse to prevent one of their sources of income being taken over by the government? Enjoy the magazine.
The Omnibus Health Law Controversies
There are indications that the government asked the DPR to pass the health law in order to attract investors. The Indonesian Medical Association has mobilized to oppose it.
Russian-Educated Doctor Without a Stethoscope
Many hospitals still do not have any specialist doctors. The government is to give resident doctors a stipend.
A Pariah in One’s Country
There are reports that doctors qualifying overseas face discrimination when they returned to Indonesia. Some of them decide to remain abroad.
What Will the Omnibus Health Bill Serve?
A Tempo interview with Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin and the Indonesian Medical Association Chair Adib Khumaidi. They explain reasons for supporting and opposing the omnibus law.
Slow Down with the Health Bill
There are signs that the health bill was drawn up in secret. There is no need to be hasty in passing it.
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