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Jakarta Post

‘It’s discouraging': Nurses lambast COVID-19 spokesperson for calling them ‘room boys’

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya
    Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 18, 2020   /   05:32 pm
‘It’s discouraging': Nurses lambast COVID-19 spokesperson for calling them ‘room boys’ Medical staff wear personal protective equipment that is not appropriate made from a rain coat in the Soesilo Regional Hospital, Tegal Regency, Central Java on Wednesday, March 18. (Antara/Oky Lukmansyah)

The Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI) has expressed its disappointment over a statement made by the Health Ministry's disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, who called them  “room boys” in a popular podcast.

“This really affected our spirit. I don’t think it was necessary for him to say that. We have been very focused on serving patients, thus hearing his statement is discouraging,” Harif Fadhillah told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Harif said nurses across country had been giving their best for the past few weeks to work hand in hand with other medical workers to treat patients, especially those infected with the novel coronavirus. Two nurses in Sanglah had even been placed in isolation.

Read also: Two Sanglah hospital nurses placed in isolation after developing fever, cough

“I think right now, what we need to do is focus on serving others and not use degrading words. Please appreciate us. Even the President appreciates us, why does a spokesperson talk like that?” he added.

Amid the COVID-19 surge in the nation, Yurianto turned to mentalist cum YouTube personality Deddy Corbuzier to speak his mind about the pandemic.

In the video podcast, published and having gone viral on Monday, Yurianto criticized private hospitals for rejecting COVID-19 patients because they did not want other patients to know they were treating people with the  infectious disease.

“This is business. Welcome to Indonesia,” Yurianto, who was also appointed by the government as COVID-19 spokesperson, said as he smiled as if he was joking. 

He later argued that was the reason he did not disclose the names of the hospitals where the patients were being treated, except the official referral hospitals, such as Jakarta’s Persahabatan Hospital and Sulianti Saroso Hospital.

“Hospitals are no longer carrying their social functions. Hospitals are just businesses now. A hotel with nurses as their room boys,” Yuri said.

The government has set up a protocol for hospitals that only those designated as referral hospitals could treat COVID-19 patients. If a non-referral hospital or clinic finds that a patient is a COVID-19 suspect, the administrator must send the patient to a referral hospital appointed by the government using an ambulance, accompanied by medical personnel with protective gear.

The news comes as nurses and medical workers across the nation struggle to serve patients, putting their own health at risk over the past few weeks.

“So far we have received a report that one nurse has died after she had contact with COVID-19 patients,” Harif of PPNI said. 

 

 


If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak