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Jakarta Post

Reducing healthcare costs: Less harmful products can help

  • Tequila Bester and Aldila Irsyad

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PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sat, November 23, 2019   /  02:01 pm
Reducing healthcare costs: Less harmful products can help The government faces strong opposition to increasing the premium to cover the deficit. (JP/Dionnasius Aditya)

The right to health is currently under threat. The Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS), which is in charge of Indonesia’s universal healthcare insurance system, is running a Rp 32 trillion (US$2.28 billion) deficit this year. At the same time, the government faces strong opposition to increasing the premium to cover the deficit. It seems like a no-win solution. People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds depend on the system, but one fifth of the population remains without coverage. Targeting an insurance rate of 95 percent of the population next year, the expenditure can only be expected to increase. That leaves the government with three options: do nothing, bail out the national healthcare program or implement austerity measures that decrease the quality of the program. In 2018, it chose to bail out the national healthcare program. Unless the government wants to...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.