Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry urges doctors not to abandon their responsibility for providing services to patients, following an appeal for a peaceful demonstration regarding the rejection of the Health Bill.

"They must prioritize service for patients. Let us remember our oath to dedicate our lives for the benefit of humanity and always prioritize patient health," the ministry's spokesperson, Mohammad Syahril, conveyed in Jakarta, Sunday.

He noted that everyone is allowed to have an opinion but must avoid participation in demonstrations and plans for mass strikes to serve patients that could sacrifice the interests of the community.

Syahril said that the ministry also asked doctors and health workers who work in all government service units to not leaving their service duties during working hours without a valid reason and permission from the work unit heads.

This provision is in accordance with Government Regulation Number 94 of 2021 concerning Discipline for Civil Servants and other provisions that apply to each health service facility.

He also appealed to doctors and health workers to avoid provocations in the midst of discussion regarding the Health Bill at Commission IX of the House of Representative (DPR).

According to a press release from the Executive Board of the Indonesian Doctors Association (PB-IDI), the demonstration will be held on Monday, May 8, 2023, involving five professional organizations.

These organizations are the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), the Indonesian National Nurses Association (PPNI), the Indonesian Midwives Association (IBI), the Indonesian Dentists Association (PDGI), and the Indonesian Pharmacist Association (IAI).

The call for peaceful action was meant to stop the government from discussing the Health Bill, he informed.

"This peaceful demonstration is a form of concern from health professional organizations. We see that the process of making regulations was rushed and did not pay attention to input from professional organizations, which in fact are field workers," General Chairman of IDI Adib Khumaidi said.

Khumaidi ensures that amid the protest, access to health services for the community will remain well in every region.

"Protest and leave of service are human rights as stated in the UN universal declaration on human rights. Around the world, peaceful actions and protests are held to criticize human rights violations and to express the views of organizations or communities to the government or state authorities," he emphasized.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of PPNI, Harif Fadhilah, highlighted the potential for the Health Bill to weaken protection and legal certainty for nurses and the public.

Another demand is that the Health Bill is considered to have the potential to trigger the criminalization of doctors and health workers, he added.

"We also appeal to all members of professional organizations to remain solid in fighting for the interests of the profession and society," Fadhilah said.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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