Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – Senior economist Faisal Basri during a webinar on Friday criticized the reduced healthcare budget the government had allocated in the 2021 State Budget (APBN). He highlighted the fact that the healthcare budget had dropped from Rp212.5 trillion in 2020 to only Rp169.7 trillion.
"Why has the government reduced the 2021 healthcare budget from Rp212.5 trillion to Rp169.7 trillion amid the primary health situation that is still battered," said Faisal in the virtual seminar on December 18.
He then blasted the government for increasing its infrastructure budget exponentially from Rp281.1 trillion in 2020 to Rp414 trillion for next year.
Faisal argued this had shown the government's commitment to public health, especially when the government had the opportunity to actually reduce the infrastructure budget to help improve Indonesia's primary healthcare services.
"That is just insane, so healthcare is the number two [priority]. There is no commitment at all," said Faisal Basri, who fears the public will have to set aside 35 percent of their income for healthcare, even though they are already subjected to taxes.