Gov't to gradually roll back COVID treatment subsidies

Gov't to gradually roll back COVID treatment subsidies

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, answering reporters' questions in Jakarta on Thursday (May 19, 2022). (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus/kt)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government will slowly stop subsidizing the treatment costs of COVID-19 patients in view of the declining trend in infections, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said here on Thursday.

"It must be step-by-step. If (the COVID-19) outbreak no longer exists, why keep the subsidies?" he remarked.

According to Effendy, the government will put the handling of COVID-19 on par with the treatment for common influenza, thus, financial assistance will not be provided for laboratory examinations for case confirmations.

The treatment funding for COVID-19 patients will also be returned to the financing mechanism of the national health insurance program managed by state-owned Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), the minister informed.

"Currently, it's all borne by the government," he said.

Furthermore, Effendy explained that the transmission of COVID-19 in Indonesia has been brought under control, as evidenced by the continued fall in the number of cases and mortality rates.

"In Jakarta's referral hospitals, most of the people who died were not due to COVID-19, (instead) the highest (cause) was cancer, the second was non-specific pneumonia, but COVID-19 ranked 14th, precisely at the bottom (of the ranking)," he said to illustrate the COVID-19 situation in Jakarta.

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Although COVID-19 transmission in the country has been brought under control, the government has remained cautious in determining the transition from the pandemic to the endemic stage, he emphasized.

"Of course, none of this means that we are being reckless. We should not be careless, we should not take it lightly, because we do not know the development of this virus," he said.

Effendy also pointed out that the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in other countries.

"There is no other word, we must be vigilant in facing COVID-19. Hopefully, we can make it to the endemic transition," he remarked. 

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