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Epidemiologist says presidential debate fails to tackle health issues, Prabowo's solution 'inappropriate'

Tempo - February 5, 2024

Alif Ilham Fajriadi, Jakarta – Presidential candidate number two Prabowo Subianto said Indonesia currently lacked doctors and he will add more medical faculties in the country as a measure to tackle the issue. Prabowo relayed his promise during the last presidential debate on Sunday evening, Feb. 4, 2024. He responded to Anies Baswedan's answer to a question about the health sector.

In response, a doctor and epidemiologist Dicky Budiman said that Prabowo's solution was inappropriate for health issues in Indonesia. "Just adding more doctors and medical faculties, if the incentives are inadequate and the employment opportunities remain lacking, would be for moot," he said on Sunday evening.

The epidemiologist from Australia's Griffith University said improving the health quality in Indonesia would take more than increasing the number of doctors. "Fundamental actions are needed," he said.

Prabowo Subianto's vision on health was also too curative in nature, Dicky said. Meanwhile, what is important for Indonesia is the preventive measures.

Overall, Dicky believed the presidential candidates failed to get at the heart of health issues discussed during the presidential debate at the Jakarta Convention Center. "How will we eradicate stunting and achieve golden Indonesia, if we don't understand what the obstacles are," he said, adding that "there is no clear picture about how the future of our health would become [during the debate]."

Throughout the presidential debate, Prabowo Subianto affirmed a few times that he aimed to increase the number of doctors if elected. The Defense Minister also said that he will establish 300 medical faculties and develop modern hospitals.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1829813/epidemiologist-says-presidential-debate-fails-to-tackle-health-issues-prabowos-solution-inappropriat