Ichsan Ali, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin recently said that the new health law did not mean easy entry for foreign doctors as they still had to meet certain requirements such as competency assessments before practicing in Indonesia.
Indonesia on Tuesday officially passed the health bill into law. The law has sparked opposition, including from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Democratic Party, who fear that the policy could lead to a massive influx of foreign doctors.
"All foreign workers that come to Indonesia must go through an adaptation process as stipulated by the law. This is different from the past regulations. [In the past,] someone who graduated from Harvard Medical School, the world's best university, was treated the same as any graduate from other countries, continents or schools with lower education standards," Budi said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Budi also reminded those who opposed foreign doctors of Indonesia's banking history.
"Remember how [Indonesia's banking] was not open to foreign bankers prior to the 1998 banking crisis. When the crisis happened, we realized that the quality of our banks was lower than that of the foreign bankers. That is how I feel. But there were only 4-5 foreign bankers in each city," Budi said.
"After the crisis took place, Citibank and CIMB Niaga opened up hundreds of branch offices. But we did not see thousands of foreign bankers coming to Indonesia," he added.