Overdue debt causes medicine shortage at Jakarta hospitals

News Desk

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Wed, September 12, 2018  /  05:42 pm

The city owned Tarakan Hospital (RSUD Tarakan) in West Jakarta.(JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

Several Jakarta regional hospitals are no longer able to buy medicine because the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) is often late in paying their bills, says city secretary Saefullah.

Saefullah said the city paid about Rp 1.5 trillion (US$101 million) to BPJS Kesehatan each year for Class III patients. “But when it is the turn of the hospitals to collect the debt from the BPJS, there are problems," he added as quoted by tempo.co.

The city had set up a bailout fund to help the hospitals, which have yet to receive payments from the BPJS, he said, adding that the fund was a loan from city owned lender Bank DKI. That means the city now has to bear the cost of the interest rates due to the BPJS’ unpaid debts.

Based on a BPJS financial report, despite having an income of Rp 74.25 trillion, the agency still suffered Rp 9.75 trillion in losses.

BPJS Kesehatan spokesman Iqbal Anas Maruf acknowledged the overdue debts owed to the hospitals, saying they were the result of being underfunded.

The premiums from the insured were not enough to cover the bills from hospitals across the country, he said, adding that the BPJS had asked the government for more funds.

“The budget proposal, however, has yet to be approved by the Finance Ministry.” (stu)