Doctors want higher pay under Social Security Providers scheme
Claiming that they are poorly compensated for providing health services to patients, the country’s doctors have demanded that the government give them higher payment under the Social Security Providers (BPJS) scheme, expected to be implemented in 2014.
Doctors who are grouped under the Indonesian Doctors’ Association (IDI) complained that they were paid “irrationally low” fees and that the government should start paying them at an amount commensurate with the skills that they possessed.
Representatives of the IDI aired their complaints during a meeting on Tuesday with members, of the House of Representatives’ Commission IX, which oversees demographic affairs, health, manpower and transmigration.
The meeting was to discuss details on how health workers should be compensated for their service under the BPJS scheme.
The doctors said that their only hope of better pay would be the BPJS scheme, which they hoped could come up with a more “rational” scheme to compensate them.
The IDI has demanded an increase of at least Rp 3,000 (31 US cents) from the current Rp 2,000 service fee the doctors are paid per patient for services given under the government-funded scheme.
“We don’t mean to be stingy or materialist. We are just demanding fees that are rational [for our services],” IDI secretary-general Slamet Budiarto said.
IDI chairman Prijo Sidipratomo said that the new payment scheme for doctors would also be fair for both service providers and their patients.
“The current health insurance programs, including Jamkesmas, Jamsostek and Askes, have yet to benefit doctors. Therefore, we hope lawmakers can guarantee the rights of doctors because this will affect the quality of our services,” he said.
Data from the IDI said that there were more than 105,000 doctors nationwide, 85,000 of whom were general practitioners.
Commission IX deputy chairman Soepriyatno, of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), said the lawmakers could understand the doctors’ demand.
“The demand is reasonable given the services of their profession. I think a quality service deserves better payment,” Soepriyatno said.
He said that the doctors claimed they were not asked for their opinion by the Health Ministry over the cost of their services under the BPJS scheme.
Lawmaker Nova Riyanti Yusuf of the Democratic Party also threw her weight behind the doctors’ proposal.
Nova said that although the occupation was aimed at serving the public, doctors had to make their own economic calculations.
“We have to remember that doctors have spent lots of money paying for their medical training to develop their skills. They don’t get the job for free and they also have families to support,” she said.
He said that the current Rp 2,000 rate per patient was undeserving for doctors.
“A barber gets at least Rp 7,000 from one customer. This is more than a doctor gets from one patient,” Nova said.
Following the meeting with the IDI, the House’s Commission IX said it would summon other relevant institutions, including the Health Ministry, to devise a payment scheme for doctors.
“All sides have to be comfortable with the new standard before we implement the BPJS scheme. This is the only way to improve health services in this country,” Soepriyanto said.
The BPJS law, which was endorsed by the House last year, demands security for workers by, among other things, demanding that employers pay up to 8 percent of the total 11 percent of workers’ gross monthly salaries.
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