Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Monday said that he wants Indonesia to stop importing medical devices, medicines, and raw materials for medicines.

He conveyed this sentiment at the groundbreaking of the Bali International Hospital in Denpasar, Bali province. .

Jokowi urged staff to start producing medical devices, medicines, and raw materials for medicines with domestic industry players.

"We want to stop importing medical devices, medicines, and raw materials for medicines. We hope to produce them in our country," the President remarked.

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Meanwhile, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir said that to suppress imports of raw materials for medicines, PT Indofarma will focus on developing the herbal industry.

Indonesia has natural and cultural endowments that can support the development of the herbal industry, the minister added.

"We have our own herbal industry with the support from our culture and nature. Therefore, Indofarma will focus on developing the herbal industry rather than treatment," he said.

Currently, the SOEs Ministry is consolidating health SOE clusters to create an ecosystem that can strengthen health resilience and independence in Indonesia, he informed.

“We know that this ecosystem is the key. If we do not consolidate, we will work alone and will not be able to withstand the challenges that occur in the future," Thohir explained.

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The SOEs Ministry has also merged Bio Farma as a holding company that oversees Kimia Farma, Indofarma, and a number of hospitals under the Indonesia Healthcare Corporation (IHC), he noted. Bio Farma is expected to open new opportunities in the health industry, such as the vaccination industry, he added.

"Therefore, we are trying to work with various parties, whether it is on an mRNA vaccine or a recombinant protein (vaccine), which we are still exploring," he informed.

Bio Farma also began clinical trials for vaccines on December 13, 2021, he noted. With the start of the clinical trial, Thohir said he hoped that Indonesia would be able to produce vaccines independently in 2022.

"Of course, we hope that with (the successful conclusion of) three stages of clinical trials, we can suppress vaccine imports in 2022. We are ready to produce 77 million doses of the (COVID-19) vaccine for the initial step, starting from July next year," he informed.

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Translator: Indra A P, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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