Tika Ayu, Jakarta – The ratification of the health bill into law by the House of Representatives (DPR) at the Plenary Meeting on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, was followed by rejection and threats of a strike voiced by health workers.
Responding to this situation, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated that having different opinions is normal. "In this democracy, I really respect differences of opinion," he said after the bill ratification at the Parliament building on Tuesday, July 11.
However, he hoped that objections or arguments would be conveyed in a healthy manner.
Minister Budi said he is open to all input and suggestions. "I will reply [arguments sent to me via] WA (WhatsApp)," he added. "I welcome checks and balances, on which argument is the most proper."
During the Plenary Session, two factions expressed their rejection of the ratification of the health bill, namely the Democrat Party and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). Democrat politician Dede Yusuf Macan, who is the former deputy governor of West Java, highlighted the elimination of mandatory spending in the bill. He also argued that the bill might liberalize the country's health sector.
The ratification of the health bill was marked by demonstrations staged outside the Parliament building. Several health professional organizations, including the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) and the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI), protested that the bill could harm health workers.