Jakarta. Newly appointed Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto says he welcomes a greater role from the private sector in providing healthcare, given that most hospitals across Indonesia are run by business entities.
In a meeting with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) at his office in South Jakarta on Monday, Terawan promised to get rid of barriers to establishing more private hospitals.
He also urged a closer partnership between the private sector and the government in healthcare.
"I will check the licensing issues. All [government] permits must be made easy and quick to obtain, because the most important thing is to provide healthcare," Terawan said in the meeting.
His guests included Kadin Chairman Rosan Roeslani, Kadin Deputy Chairman for Health and Manpower James Riady, representatives of the Indonesian Private Hospitals Association (ARSSI) and other prominent figures in the industry.
Currently, it takes up to 20 months to get all the government permits before a new hospital can be built, even if all the necessary requirements are ready including funding and having a sufficient number of doctors and nurses.
James said businesses are eager to get more involved in the healthcare system by setting up new hospitals. If bureaucratic red tapes to obtain government permits are gone, investment in healthcare will increase significantly, he said.
Data from the Health Ministry show that 63.5 percent of 2,813 hospitals in Indonesia are run by private organizations.
The minister said growing public demand for health services was his main reason to want to dismiss rigid regulations for hospital permits.
"It's okay to give permits for more hospitals in one district, the law of the market will do the rest," Terawan said.
He also said that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had been campaigning aggressively to streamline business permit regulations.