Jakarta (ANTARA) - Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian appealed to regional authorities to ensure health services to residents will not be disrupted by the health workers' protest against the Omnibus Health Bill on Monday.

"(Regional leaders) should ensure that health services to residents continue to be provided," Karnavian stated, as per his official letter in anticipation of the protest against the Health Bill in regions, as quoted here, Monday.

The letter for governors, district heads, and mayors nationwide was signed by the ministry's Secretary General, Suhajar Diantoro -- on behalf of Karnavian -- on May 6, 2023.

In the letter, Karnavian called on regional leaders to direct heads of local health offices, directors of regional hospitals and public health services, and health workers to maintain conduciveness and prioritize health services for the people.

Regional leaders are also urged to instruct local health offices to coordinate with local police and military units to anticipate possible vacancies of health officers at regional health centers due to the protest.

"Regional leaders should also provide a medium for dialogue with representatives of health professional organizations and the regional leaders' communication forum to allow them to convey their aspirations," Karnavian stated.

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According to the press statement on Sunday (May 7), the Indonesian Medical Association Executive Board (PB-IDI) called a protest on Monday to apply pressure on the government to stop deliberation on the Omnibus Health Bill.

"This peaceful protest aims to convey the professional health organizations' concern to the hurried law-making process that failed to consider inputs from professional organizations, the parties experiencing on-site conditions," PB-IDI Chairperson Adib Khumaidi stated.

Despite the protest, Khumaidi made assurance that health officers would not neglect their obligation to residents.

The protest will involve five medical organizations: Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), Indonesian National Nurses Association (PPNI), Indonesian Midwives Association (IBI), Indonesian Dental Association (PDGI), and Indonesian Pharmacists Association (IAI).

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Translator: Tri Meilani A, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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