Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – House of Representatives Speaker Puan Maharani said the House and the government must immediately discuss the revision to Law No. 4/1984 on communicable disease outbreaks in order to improve the national health system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the revision of the bill, which has been included in the 2020-2024 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas), would help to improve health infrastructure, drug and vaccine development, availability of medical devices and health research.
"Prevention, detection and response to infectious diseases need to be adjusted to international guidelines, developments in science and technology, changes in the cross-border transmission of diseases and changes in transportation, globalization and free trade," Puan said in a statement on Monday.
Puan said the government should use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to improve the national health system, while highlighting the importance of expanding the role of community health centers (Puskesmas).
According to Puan, strengthening the role of Puskesmas was vital as she said she had received many reports about designated COVID-19 hospitals becoming overwhelmed.
"Indonesia, with its diverse social and demographic characteristics, needs Puskesmas to play an increased role to reach all people in their operational areas," said Puan.
Puan said the House would support comprehensive measures to handle the COVID-19 outbreak, and reminded the community to do its part to prevent further transmission.
"This uncertain situation can only end soon through our adherence to health protocols while we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine. All elements of society must cooperate in the fight against COVID-19," she said.