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Doctors, nurses protest proposed changes to healthcare laws

Reuters - June 5, 2023

Jakarta – Hundreds of doctors and nurses on Monday urged lawmakers to halt discussions on proposed revisions to healthcare laws that they said would dilute protections for medical practitioners.

The House of Representatives in February proposed a host of revisions to current healthcare laws, including making it easier for patients to bring criminal charges against healthcare workers for malpractice and allowing foreign talent to make up for staff shortages in Indonesia.

The government has said the revisions are necessary to streamline the current laws. A health ministry spokesperson, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said the new law aims to improve services in the country.

But at least five unions have raised concerns, arguing health workers could be disadvantaged.

"Our fears are about legal certainty and protection," said Indonesia Medical Association (IDI) chairman, Mohammad Adib Khumaidi, who joined the protest on Monday.

The head of the dentists' association, Usman Sumantri, questioned whether standards were in place to ensure that foreign doctors would improve the level of care in Indonesia, which already struggles with a shortage of health workers, especially specialists.

"We need to consider whether this could negatively impact Indonesian workers" he said. It is unclear when the House will finalise the law.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/06/05/doctors-nurses-protest-proposed-changes-to-healthcare-laws.htm