COVID-19 exposes flaws in Indonesia’s health insurance program

first_imgWith the regulation barring the use of JKN funds to treat COVID-19 patients, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy has instructed BPJS Kesehatan to verify claims of medical bills from hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients and coordinate with the Health Ministry to process the payment of the bills, according to a March 27 letter to BPJS Kesehatan, a copy of which has been obtained by The Jakarta Post.Muhadjir also instructed BPJS Kesehatan to ensure that COVID-19 patients can get access to medical services, given that many hospitals have secured arrangements with BPJS to treat the insurance scheme’s participants, which could further drain valuable resources required for treating infected patients.BPJS Kesehatan spokesperson M. Iqbal Anas Maruf said BPJS Kesehatan stood ready to implement Muhadjir’s instruction to ensure hospitals could continue treating COVID-19 patients.“We’ll obey the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister’s decision,” Iqbal told the Post over the phone on Monday. He also said BPJS had allowed hospitals that have existing cooperation agreements with them to direct resources toward treating COVID-19 patients. The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed major flaws in Indonesia’s creaking national health insurance program, which has not been able to properly provide services in these desperate times.With an infectious disease spreading fast across the archipelago, the government has been forced to devise a workaround to ensure that the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), which administers the government’s National Health Insurance (JKN) program, can reassure the public of its role in the pandemic despite coming up against legal barriers.Article 52 of Government Regulation (PP) No. 82/2018 on health insurance stipulates that healthcare services are excluded from BPJS Kesehatan’s premium benefits at a time of emergency and extraordinary circumstances (KLB). The spokesman also pointed to a decree issued by Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto on Feb. 4 requiring that all costs incurred in treating COVID-19 patients would be paid for by the ministry, regional administrations and any other sources allowed by law, which would ensure that the financial burden of treating the respiratory disease would not be borne by patients.BPJS Watch advocacy coordinator Timboel Siregar said the provision was included in the government regulation as a result of a preexisting regulation, namely Law No. 24/2007 on disaster mitigation, which requires the government, using its allocated state budget, to guarantee the rights of disaster-stricken citizens. A pandemic is listed as such a disaster.He said further that BPJS Kesehatan’s hands were tied because of provisions in Law No. 40/2004 on the national healthcare system, which stipulates that the agency can only provide insurance benefits to paying members.As of March 31, BPJS Kesehatan insured some 222.38 million Indonesians, or 85 percent of the 260 million population.Technicalities aside, the government must provide assurances to the public that they will not have to bear the cost of medical bills to treat COVID-19, Timboel said.“We are merely asking BPJS Kesehatan or the government to take responsibility for [COVID-19 patients] who are also participants in [the national insurance scheme],” said Timboel, noting that BPJS participants who were treated as suspected COVID-19 cases but were not yet confirmed cases may find themselves in a gray area when it came to footing the bills.Indonesian Hospital Association (PERSI) secretary general Lia Gardenia Partakusuma said that hospitals were currently prioritizing the treatment of COVID-19 patients, but the association had yet to receive any reports about hospitals processing claims for infected patients’ medical bills.She did, however, note that BPJS Kesehatan could help hospitals by footing the bill for insured patients.“PERSI had received messages from hospitals asking [BPJS] to pay for medical services administered before the COVID-19 outbreak, because they are currently bearing many unexpected expenses,” Lia said.On World Health Day, which fell on Tuesday this year, the absence of Indonesia’s national insurer from the pandemic response presented another challenge to Indonesia’s struggling healthcare system, as the government scrambled to curb the spread of the contagious COVID-19 disease. As of Tuesday, there were 2,738 confirmed infections and 221 deaths, according to an official tally.BPJS Kesehatan has had to contend with bleeding finances since its inception in 2014. This took a turn for the worse after the Supreme Court overturned a premium hike for its nonwage recipients (PBPU) scheme.The PBPU scheme requires workers to independently pay out their monthly fees to the agency, as opposed to the automatic deduction arrangement between workers and employers or direct subsidies from the government.The court ruling meant that Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 75/2019, which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed last year and which had come into effect in January this year, will need to be revised.Under the presidential regulation, the government doubled premiums for first-class services to Rp 160,000 (US$9.69) per month per person, while more than doubling the monthly premium for second-class services from Rp 51,000 to Rp 110,000 per person.The premium for third-class services increased by 64 percent from Rp 25,000 to Rp 42,000 per month per person.The Perpres was issued as part of the government’s efforts to address the persistent financial woes suffered by the agency, which was caused by, among other factors, underpriced premiums, according to a Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) study last year.Iqbal of the BPJS said the insurer was ready to abide by the Supreme Court ruling, adding that the government was in the process of drafting a new regulation to make it legal. He also gave an assurance that the agency would return overpaid fees by deducting them from the next payment period.The government recently unveiled a Rp 405.1 trillion stimulus package to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak and its immediate effects on the country’s economy.Of that amount, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said Rp 75 trillion had been earmarked for healthcare spending, including additional capital injections to assist BPJS Kesehatan’s finances following the Supreme Court ruling.“We hope BPJS Kesehatan will be able to pay all the outstanding bills to the hospitals,” she said recently.Topics :last_img read more

Chermside West home sells for $691,200 after sellers squeeze in an extra bathroom

first_imgThis home at 11 Viney St, Chermside West, sold for $691,200.This charming Chermside West home has sold for $691,200.The two-level property at 11 Viney St attracted 35 groups through the first open home and three written offers. Inside 11 Viney St, Chermside West.Coronis Stafford sales specialist Lance Russell said it was bought as a first home for a young couple.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019“They really loved the street and the little pocket it was in,” Mr Russell said. “They also loved the home was fully renovated with nothing left to do.”The home was purchased by the sellers in January 2017 for $470,000. Open plan living at 11 Viney St, Chermside West.Mr Russell said he had met the sellers about a year before the home was put on the market, when they had consulted with him on how to best add value to the property.“When I spoke to them about adding value I said if you can change the floorplan and add an extra bedroom or bathroom that would be the best way to go,” he said.“They added an ensuite which, in my opinion, made a massive difference.”Mr Russell said the suburb was previously “untapped” but now people were starting to “clue on”.“There is another home at 35 Chingford St that is a blank canvas, but we’ve already had seven written offers,” he said.last_img read more

Scholars consider impact of Jewish vote on election

first_imgUSC’s Casden Institute, which centers its research on the role of Jewish voters in America, held a panel, titled “Decision 2016: Jews and the Presidential Election,” to discuss the election as it relates to Jewish voters in Town and Gown on Sunday.Julia Erickson | Daily TrojanMinority majority · Zev Yaroslavsky (left), Laurie Levenson (center) and Mel Levine (right) spoke on Jewish support for other minority groups Monday.The event was the 2016 installment of the Lee Lecture Series, a lecture series that brings together scholars from varied fields to talk to the L.A. community.The panel featured six members of the Jewish communities and experts in their respective fields: Steven Windmueller, professor emeritus at Hebrew-Union College; Larry Greenfield; investment banker and former executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition; Mel Levine, former U.S. representative, 27th Congressional District; Laurie Levenson, professor of law and director for center of legal advocacy at Loyola Law School; Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC; and Zev Yaroslavsky, former member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors from District 3.The event consisted of a one-hour discussion by the panelists about topics related to the presidential candidates and Jewish-American voters, followed by a 30-minute question and answer session.The panelists spoke about their views and thoughts on the presidential election in regards to the Jewish population. As Greenfield noted, there are many analogies between United States history and Jewish history.“The ancient kingdom of Israel essentially modeled the balance between empire and anarchy,” Greenfield said. “Our Western Judeo-Christian political tradition is built on this moderate middle path: limited self-government of, by and for the people, respect for the equality of all human beings, and the eternal struggle for freedom within the boundaries of law.”Several of the panelists — including Levenson and Schnur — noted that as a minority group that has often been treated more harshly in the past as a result, it is only natural to be sympathetic toward the other targeted minority groups in the 2016 election.“We are the other, we always have been,” Schnur said. “We have an obligation to dispel that fear and face the hatred … and reach out to support more vulnerable ‘others.’”That sentiment was echoed by Yaroslavsky, who believes that Jews see some of their own history as a minority in some of the rhetoric by today’s candidates.“Once you unleash the forces of prejudice against one group, no group is safe,” Yaroslavsky said. “When you’re a minority, it’s a matter of not just civic duty, but survival — you have to be involved in democracy, in government, in electing people.”This panel was not without its disagreements, both ideologically and on the subject of who should be the next president. The few things they could all agree on were Trump’s failings and that the Dodgers win was reason to celebrate. Although there was only one Republican on the panel, Greenfield, there was much more diversity of opinion among the audience, which was reflected in the questions that were asked, which ranged from doubts about Clinton’s honesty to reservations about Trump’s immigration policy.As polarizing as the election and political discussion is, for Windmueller, the election as it pertains to the Jewish community is an important discussion to have due to the historically lower mobilization of Jewish voters in this election cycle.“We’re seeing in the Jewish community for the first time, somewhere between 8 and 10 percent of American Jews are not prepared to vote in this election,” Windmueller said. “Jews tend to be highly motivated and politically involved, but this election we see something different, which is why I think it’s important that these conversations take place.”last_img read more

Exclusive:Kevin-Prince returns for Egypt qualifier

first_imgGhana coach Kwesi Appiah has named Kevin-Prince Boateng in a 24-man squad to face Egypt in this month’s World Cup qualifying play-off. Also included in the squad are Dominic Adiyiah and goalkeeper Daniel Agyei as both players return to the Black Stars team to play the Pharaohs in Cairo on 19 November at the Air Defence Stadium.  The Black Stars lead the tie 6-1 after the first leg in Kumasi on 15 October as the aggregate winner will qualify for next year’s final in Brazil.Ghana squad: Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Daniel Agyei (Free State Stars, South Africa) Defenders: Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), David Addy (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa), Edwin Gyimah (SuperSport United, South Africa) Midfielders: Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem, Holland), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France) Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke, Germany) Jordan Ayew (Marseille, France), Dominic Adiyiah (Arsenal Kiev, Ukraine).last_img read more

PATRICK GILDEA’S WEEKLY HAIR TIP – THE TOP WINTER CUTS

first_imgFull Graduated Layers (Suki Waterhouse)Suki WaterhouseShorter more graduated waves that fall just below the collar bone are set to be huge over the coming months and we can guarantee the red carpet during award season will certainly have its fair share of A-listers showcasing this style. Long mermaid waves are a thing of the past while this look has great volume and looks effortless and sexy at the same time.Change can sometimes inspire happiness!!PATRICK GILDEA’S WEEKLY HAIR TIP – THE TOP WINTER CUTS was last modified: October 8th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:hair columnPatrick Gildea Patrick GildeaWith each new season comes a new trend; whether it be a daring new colour or beautifully shaped cut and as the bitter cold of winter sets in it’s all about texture from woolly jumpers to new layers in the hair.Patrick says “we are really excited about some of the beautiful cuts that are set to be huge this winter and with all our advanced cutting training we have our scissors at the ready for some stunning transformations”.If you would like a change here are some of Patrick’s favourite cuts that are sure to take centre stage this winter. The Edgy Pixie (think Kirsten Stewart)Kristen-StewartThis season the wonderful and much loved pixie cut gets a makeover with shaved sides, spikes and lots of texture giving it a rebellious yet feminine, sexy feel accentuating the cheekbones, neck and jaw line.The Wavy Bob (Sienna Miller)Sienna MillerThe wavy bob has been a big hit with both our clients and celebrities over the past few months and this winter looks no different. It’s all about short, effortless face framing curls- think on Sienna Miller’s beautiful Golden Globes look which was the definition of laid back elegance. The best thing about this style is that it is youthful, elegant yet edgy and low maintenance. last_img read more