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Jakarta Post

Ministry guarantees healthcare service amid suspension

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 8, 2019   /   09:14 am
Ministry guarantees healthcare service amid suspension Trip to the doctor: A patient and BPJS card holder is pushed by her family member after undergoing a medical checkup at Bahteramas Hospital in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi. (Antara/Jojon)

The recent decision of the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) to suspend collaboration with hundreds of hospitals that have not renewed their accreditation has raised concerns particularly among patients and triggered complaints from hospital managements.

In the past week, hospitals in several regions have announced that they would suspend services for BPJS Kesehatan card holder patients due to the policy.

However, after a brief meeting on Tuesday morning, the Health Ministry has decided to cancel the initial plan and made some compromises.

Health Ministry director general for health services, Bambang Wibowo, told the press after the meeting that the hospitals which have completed their reaccreditation and are still waiting for the results can serve BPJS card holders.

"As for the hospitals who just registered for the reaccreditation and are still waiting for the process to be completed, they can still provide certain health services, such as hemodialysis, chemotherapy and other emergency treatments while waiting for their accreditation [to be completed]," Bambang said.

The obligation for hospitals to undergo accreditation is stipulated in Article 40 of Law No. 44/2009 on hospital accreditation which states that accreditation must be carried out periodically, at least every three years.

Data from the ministry show that there are 127 hospitals whose accreditation expires between January and June this year, 67 of which have finished the reaccreditation, while 50 others are still waiting for the evaluation process. The last 10 hospitals remain in question as they have not yet registered for reaccreditation.

The 10 hospitals are located in Blora regency, Central Java; Mimika regency, Papua; Seruyan regency, Central Kalimantan; East Ogan Komeling Ulu regency in South Sumatra; Bandung city in West Java, Bitung in North Sulawesi; Sarolangun regency in Jambi and three hospitals in Makasar and Sidenreng Rappang regency, South Sulawesi. 

“We will not extend or acknowledge the cooperation between BPJS Kesehatan and hospitals who are negligent in managing their reaccreditation,” Bambang said.

Bambang said the official decree letter on today’s meeting would be disseminated immediately to the hospitals and other stakeholders.

Timboel Siregar from watchdog BPJS Watch, however, criticized the government’s decision, saying the authorities should extend the deadline for reaccreditation until June 30, 2019.

“Don’t just terminate their contract with BPJS [..]Accreditation is a requirement for the collaboration between hospitals and BPJS Kesehatan. It’s also the government’s way to ensure that National Health Insurance (JKN) members get safe and qualified health services,” he said.

An official at a Jakarta-based private hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, shared the sentiment. The hospital in which he works is one of the hospitals facing contract termination.

“We had been accredited with five stars for the last three years and suddenly we received an online letter stating that we could no longer serve BPJS card holder patients. We were surprised because at that time we had already registered for the reaccreditation and were waiting for the process,” he said.

“They should support us, not just leave us like that,” he said. “The government is willing to extend the deadline for hospitals that are waiting for the ongoing reaccreditation, so why can’t they wait for us?” he said.

As many as 2,430 hospitals in Indonesia work with BPJS Kesehatan. According to the latest data from the ministry in January, 720 of the hospitals were not yet accredited. After a continuous campaign by the government, there are only 29 hospitals that have not registered for accreditation.

The executive secretary of the Hospital Accreditation Commission (KARS), Djoti Atmodjo, said that more than 800 surveyors from the KARS were ready to lead accreditation for those hospitals.

“The main key here is the hospital directors’ willingness to undergo the process. [..] We have expedited the process so that the certificate can be issued within only six days from initially one month to minimize the impact [on the patients],” Djoti said.