Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Thursday said that health information digitalization is essential to realize transparency in public health services.

"It is important to digitize and integrate health information for the public's health service transparency," he explained at the presentation of awards for anti-fraud and gratification control in the National Health Insurance (JKN) program.

According to the minister, transparency in health services can help detect fraud in the financing of JKN services.

He cited several examples of common fraudulent practices in JKN services, such as diagnoses that do not match the disease and phantom billing or false claims without treatment (fake patients).

He then asked national health insurer BPJS Health to integrate its data with the ministry's to minimize and track fraud.

"There is a hospital that carries out improper diagnostics. The ministry has the authority to take action against that hospital," Sadikin said.

According to him, the phantom billing incident he cited did not only involve health service facilities, but also individuals, such as health personnel of a particular health facility.

"Now, with the ministry's control over health personnel, we can track which hospitals routinely carry out phantom billing and which health personnel write phantom billing prescriptions," he informed.

Moreover, he said, health information digitalization can help cut health costs since all information regarding health services is open to the public and differences in the standards of services provided can be prevented.

"Suffering from the same disease, different patients can receive different medicines with different prices as well. The price can be ten times higher," he explained.

The minister then expressed the hope that health information digitalization, which is currently being pursued, would help provide easy, affordable, and quality public access to health.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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