Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has sought the support of the Indonesian Health Workers Council (KTKI) for improving access to health services across Indonesia.

"The role of KTKI, especially with the presence of the new Health Law, is crucial to ensure the government's goal of making the community have access to good health services is achieved," he said in a statement released here on Friday.

According to him, the quality of health services in Indonesia is not yet fully uniform. The majority of services are still concentrated in big cities, while in small cities and remote and islands areas, there are many cases of minimal access to health services.

This inequality is influenced by the number and quality of health workers and medical personnel that are still lacking, among other factors, he pointed out.

Based on data from the Ministry of Health, currently, there are 1.5 million health workers and 150 thousand medical personnel. Their number is not sufficient to meet the need for providing good health services to the wider community.

"In community health centers (puskesmas), for example, there are puskesmas that have no dentists, there are only (dentist) assistants. Then, only 50 percent of puskesmas in regions such as Nias and Kalimantan have dentists, and there are also not enough doctors," he noted.

Sometimes, local residents have to seek health services outside their areas in places that are located far away, he added.

According to him, one effort that can be made by the KTKI to help the government tackle the problems is organizing the data on health workers and providing a complete and easy registration platform.

The minister also wants the platform to be made as convenient as possible, free of charge, and highlighted the need to ensure it collectively meets the needs of health workers' data.

He specifically requested that the platform include the bank account numbers of health workers. Based on the experience from the COVID-19 pandemic, incentives can be paid directly to health workers without being hindered by bureaucracy.

He also asked KTKI to carry out mentoring and competency development for health workers in a more systematic, structured, and routine manner.

Sadikin said that health workers currently have different experiences and competence standards. Therefore, the quality of health workers between regions is not equal.

In view of this, routine mentoring and development from KTKI have been considered necessary to improve the quality of health workers.

"Currently, the government is preparing ways to continuously improve their competence and quality because they are the frontguard of health services," the minister said.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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