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Jakarta Post

Inauguration of Indonesian Medical Council members sparks protests from associations

  • Alya Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 20, 2020   /   08:06 am
Inauguration of Indonesian Medical Council members sparks protests from associations

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inaugurated on Wednesday 17 new members of the Indonesian Medical Council (KKI), albeit to the dismay of medical workers associations who claimed that none of the chosen names had been among candidates proposed by the groups.

Jokowi inaugurated the new KKI members for the 2020-2025 period in a limited ceremony at the State Palace as he announced the 17 names appointed to the membership in accordance with Presidential Decree No.55/M 2020 on the termination and appointment of KKI members.

The 17 figures are Putu Moda Arsana and Dollar, representatives of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI); Nurdjamil Sayuti and Nadhyanto of the Indonesian Dentists Association (PDGI); Pattiselanno Robert Johan and Achmad Syukrul A of the Association of Indonesian Medical Education Institutions (AIPKI); Vonny Naouva Tubagus and Ni Nyoman Mahartini of the Indonesian Educational Hospitals Association (ARSPI); Bachtiar Murtala of the Medicinal Collegiate and Andriani of the Dental Collegiate.

The public representatives in the state institution -- tasked as regulators of the medical profession -- are Mohammad Agus Samsudin, Intan Ahmad Musmeinan and Hisyam Said. Four others are Taruna Ikrar and Sri Rahayu Mustikowati, representatives of the Health Ministry; and Melanie Hendriaty Sadono and Mariatul Fadilah of the Education and Culture Ministry.

Prior to Wednesday's ceremony, however, medical workers associations wrote to Jokowi in protest against the chosen names on the list and called on him to cancel the inauguration.

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“Among the 17 newly appointed members, none are the names proposed by the seven associations,” IDI chairman Daeng M. Faqih told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

As many as seven leaders of healthcare professional associations signed the protest letter to Jokowi on Tuesday, namely IDI chair Daeng M. Faqih, Academy of Medicine of Indonesia (MKKI) chair David S. Perdanakusuma, PDGI chair Sri Hananto Seno, Indonesian Dental Health Faculty Association (AFDOKGI) chair Nina Djustiana, AIPKI chair Budu, ARSPI chair Andi Wahyuningsih Attas and Indonesian Dental Collegiate Council (MKKGI) chair Chiquita Prahasti.

In the letter, the associations said they had submitted the names through the Health Ministry in accordance with Article 14 of Law No. 29/2004 on medical practice, which stipulates that the President assigns KKI members based on the Health Minister’s proposal, which is the proposal from professional associations.

“With all due respect, the names listed in the presidential decree are not names proposed by the professional associations,” the letter said. The associations also demanded that Jokowi reconsider and postpone the inauguration of KKI members.

In response to the criticisms, Health Ministry spokesperson Widyawati said the ministry had asked professional associations to submit the names of the new KKI members in February 2019.

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However, the proposed names did not meet the requirements as stipulated by law.

Among the unmet requirements was the absence of a statement letter to renounce one’s post when appointed as a KKI member and a statement of temporary dismissal from civil servant status if the proposed name is a civil servant. Besides, one candidate should be proposed by only one element or association, while the already proposed names came from two elements.

Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto then decided to immediately inaugurate the new members this year considering the important roles of the KKI, such as registering doctors and dentists and establishing standards for health education.

“If postponed any longer, it would impact the quality of education and health services, including doctors and dentists’ welfare,” Widyawati said in a statement on Wednesday.

Therefore, Terawan changed Article 6 of Health Ministerial Regulation No.81/2019 on the changes in the procedure for proposing members of the KKI. The article stipulates that if the proposed KKI member does not meet the requirements, the minister can propose candidates to the President while still considering the representation of each element of the professional associations.