A worker cleans up a medical treatment area in COVID-19 hospital in Lippo Plaza Mampang, South Jakarta on Monday, Mar. 30 (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Government Pays $1.5m Down Payment for Covid-19 Patients' Treatment

BY :TARA MARCHELIN

MAY 09, 2020

Jakarta. The government has paid close to $1.5 million in down payments for treatments of 931 Covid-19 patients' medical treatment in 82 hospitals across Indonesia, as part of an effort to ensure the hospitals have enough cash for their operation during the pandemic. 

Tri Hesty Widyastoesti, the director of referral health services at the Health Ministry, said the hospitals’ occupancy rate has taken a dive since the pandemic started as patients avoid coming to the hospitals if it was not urgent. 

“Currently, almost all hospitals in Indonesia provide medical treatment for Covid-19 patients. Their occupancy rate has lowered approximately 20 percent to 50 percent, their service system and cash flow have also been hampered,” Tri said in an online press conference at National Disaster Management Agency or BNPB headquarters.

The government had said earlier that it would disburse half of the payment for any bills on Covid-19 patients upfront, without waiting for audits, to help the hospitals with managing their cashflow. 

“We appeal the hospitals to immediately submit the bills. We hope the program will help hospitals to maintain their services’ quality and guarantee their medical personnel’s safety,” Tri said on Friday.

Moreover, Tri explained the hospitals that allowed to submit the claim are the ones that have referral decree from Health Ministry and referral decree from the governor, also non-referral hospitals that have committed to providing medical treatment for Cocid-19 patients.

“Basically, all hospitals can submit the claim as long as they are qualified according to Health Minister’s decree and circular letter,” she added.

Tri said the hospitals can submit the claim to Health Ministry’s Directorate General of Health Services and Health Ministry’s Director of Referral Health Services, and send a copy of the claim form to National Health Insurance or BPJS Kesehatan for verification.

“We implement four principles in this program comprises of fast by giving a down payment to the hospitals, easy and accountable by using a simple verification, and on-target by giving the fund for hospitals that truly provide Covid-19 treatment,” she said.

Budi Mohammad Arief, the deputy director of referral health financing guarantee at the national health insurance agency BPJS Kesehatan, said the hospitals should not hesitate to make a report to the nearest BPJS branch office if they have difficulties in submitting their claim.

“As the verifier, we will execute the program according to good governance principles and with accountability despite the Covid-19 emergency situation,” he added.

Budi also said the program not only addressed BPJS Kesehatan’s beneficiaries but also for people who haven’t registered in BPJS.

“Government provides Covid-19 medical treatment guarantee for everybody, whether one has registered in BPJS Kesehatan or not, even the foreigners are provided too,” he said.

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