Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that meeting the need for specialist doctors will support Indonesia's demographic dividend that is projected to occur in 10-15 years.

At the inauguration of the Main Organizing Teaching Hospital-Based Specialist Doctor Education Program at Harapan Kita Mother and Child Hospital, Jakarta, on Monday, President Jokowi remarked that when the demographic dividend is realized, Indonesia's working-age population will account for 68 percent of the total population.

"Having 68 percent population of the working age will go in vain if their health is not good. Therefore, we really have to prepare and plan for this (demographic dividend)," he remarked.

The president underscored the need for breakthroughs to tackle the issue of shortages of doctors and specialist doctors in Indonesia, including driving 24 medical schools and 420 government hospitals to produce more doctors.

Indonesia can only produce 2,700 specialist doctors per year, while the current requirement reaches 29 thousand specialist doctors.

"The distribution (of specialist doctors) is also not equal. On average, specialist doctors are located in Java, and in cities, while 59 percent of specialist doctors are concentrated on Java island," he pointed out.

On that occasion, the president underscored that Indonesia's doctor population ratio is still at 0.47 per 1,000 population, below WHO's standard of 1 per 1,000 population.

With that ratio, he noted, Indonesia is currently ranked 147th in the world and 9th in ASEAN.

Through the Health Transformation program, the Ministry of Health is facilitating 420 hospitals from a total of three thousand hospitals in Indonesia to provide education for more doctors and specialist doctors outside the university route.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that the program will prioritize doctors from regions to become participants in the specialist doctor education program at teaching hospitals.

He noted that in the initial stage, there are six specialty programs in six main teaching hospitals, including the Harapan Kita Mother and Child Hospital, namely eye, heart, pediatric, neurological, orthopedic, and oncology specialties.

Sadikin further stated that with the Main Organizing Teaching Hospital-Based Specialist Doctor Education Program, Indonesia can accelerate the fulfillment of the need for specialist doctors, from 10 years to around five years.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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