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Ministry of Health asks doctors and health workers not to leave patient care

Jakarta – The Ministry of Health (Kemenkes) requested that doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and pharmacists (health workers) not leave their services to the community.

This is in connection with the appeal for peaceful action related to the rejection of the discussion of the Draft Health Law from five professional organizations. Namely the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), the Indonesian National Nurses Association (PPNI), the Indonesian Midwives Association (IBI), the Indonesian Dentists Association (PDGI), and the Indonesian Pharmacists Association (IAI).

Ministry of Health Spokesperson Mohammad Syahril said expressing opinions is normal, but they should not let their participation in the demonstration on Monday, May 8 and the planned mass strike to serve patients in the next few days compromise the interests of the wider community.

“Patient care must be prioritized. Let my fellow colleagues remember our oath: I will dedicate my life for the benefit of humanity, and I will always prioritize patient health,” Syahril said as per an official statement received by InfoPublik on Sunday (7/5/2023).

He also said that in accordance with Government Regulation Number 94 of 2021 concerning Civil Servant Discipline and other provisions applicable to each health service facility, the Ministry of Health requested that doctors and health workers on duty at the Ministry’s hospitals and service units not leave their duties to provide services during working hours without a valid reason and permission from the head of the work unit.

One of the demands of the demonstrators was that the Health Bill seemed to have the potential to trigger criminalization of doctors and health workers. According to Syahril, this is very unreasonable.

“Let us not provoke as if there is potential for criminalization. That is not true. In fact, this Health Bill adds new protections, including from criminalization efforts. Our intention is to protect, why are we even being protested,” said Syahril.

The Health Bill is currently under discussion between the House of Representatives and the government. Through this bill, the government proposes additional legal protection for doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers when providing services to the community.

“The articles of legal protection are intended so that if there is a legal dispute, health workers do not directly deal with law enforcement officials before an out-of-court settlement, including through ethical and disciplinary hearings,” said Syahril.

According to him, there are several new articles of legal protection proposed by the government, such as legal protection for students, the right to stop services if they receive acts of violence, and legal protection in certain conditions such as outbreaks. (InfoPublik)

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