The Jakarta Post
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said the government will use reserve funds in the state budget and the tobacco excise revenue to cover the Healthcare and Social Security Agency's (BPJS Kesehatan) deficit.
She said in Jakarta on Thursday that the government had allocated Rp 4.9 trillion (US$330 million) in reserve funds in the 2018 state budget, the spending of which is ruled by a finance ministerial regulation.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last week approved a presidential regulation that requires the use of 50 percent of the tobacco excise for health services, including to cover the deficit of BPJS Kesehatan because the revenue from its premiums is insufficient.
Sri Mulyani stressed that the government would prioritize the use of the tobacco excise to improve public health with the hope that fewer BPJS members would seek health services from hospitals and other health centers.
“The use of the tobacco excise will ease the burden on BPSJ Kesehatan,” Sri Mulyani said as quoted by kontan.co.id.
“With improved public health, less people will require health services,” she added. (bbn)