BPJS-kesehatan now has 170 million members

"The numbers have been increasing progressively. I have called upon all hospitals to enhance the quality of public services," Health Minister Nila F Moelok said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Nearly 170 million Indonesian citizens have become members of the Health and Social Security Management Agency (BPJS-Kesehatan).

"The numbers have been increasing progressively. I have called upon all hospitals to enhance the quality of public services," Health Minister Nila F Moelok said at a national seminar here on Wednesday.

With the increasing number of participants, BPJS-Kesehatan and hospital will be able to control costs.

"However, cost constraints should not diminish the quality of services meant for those participating in BPJS-Kesehatan," the minister stated.

With many people in remote areas still finding it difficult to find access to health care, the minister conceded that there were gaps in health services delivery.

The minister urged the Indonesian Hospital Association (Persi) to properly regulate the availability of health services.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitals that serve BPJS-kesehatans members has increased, Chairman of Persi Kuntjoro Adi Purjanto informed.

"All government hospitals serve the members of BPJS-Kesehatan. Currently, more private hospitals serve the BPJS-Kesehatans members," Purjanto pointed out.

The Health and Social Security Management Agency (BPJS-Kesehatan) had earlier requested President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to resolve the issue of Rp7 trillion worth of deficit in the system.

"The issue of the BPJS-Kesehatan being constrained by a deficit amounting to Rp7 trillion should be resolved. Otherwise, Indonesia will face a serious problem in the future," Mulyadi Sumarto, a researcher at the University of Gajah Mada, cautioned.

Sumarto made the remarks during a policy corner discussion on the "Two-year work performance of the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla government."

The government of Jokowi must find a solution and take anticipatory steps to prevent any recurrence of such a scenario.

The issue also figured in Jokowis Nawacity Development Priority Program announced by the president.

Mulyadi enumerated three steps that the Jokowi government must take to cope with the BPJS-Kesehatan problem.

Firstly, the government should consider a welfare state model suitable for Indonesia, keeping in mind that it is a developing country.

"This means that the government should be willing to formulate a protection system for workers in cooperation with the labor unions and farmers and fishermens associations. So, there is an effort to put in place a welfare system inherent in the manpower market," he stressed.

Secondly, the government needs a strong team capable of designing a distribution system, especially for the poor, in order to prevent any off-target largesse.

"If the program achieves the distribution target, then the government will be able to save on the state money. After all, the Rp7 trillion deficit in the BPJS-Kesehatan is illogical. It is too large an amount, and the government should have a strong team to set up a good distribution system," he underlined.

Thirdly, the government needs to rectify the flaws in the distribution of BPJS-Kesehatan cards and the way members are dealt with. The deficit occurred because one category of the BPJS-Kesehatan members---those in the self-reliant participant category---are still allowed to use their cards for accessing health services, although they are not able to pay the insurance premium.

"As a result, when members will not pay the BPJS-Kesehatan premium, it certainly burdens the state. Hence, the government should be able to ensure proper distribution of the BPJS-Kesehatan cards and manage its membership," he pointed out.

He also reminded that the governments efforts to increase the premium rates of the BPJS-Kesehatan will not be effective, as the problem arises only because of members who become a burden for the state.(*)

Comments