INDONESIA: Questioning the Ministry of Health for the maladministration of imposing Covid-19 treatment costs to patients

Five victims in relation to the cost of Covid-19 treatment together with the Community Coalition for Access to Health Justice made a direct complaint to the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia.

The complaint was made on suspicion of the maladministration carried out by several Covid-19 referral hospitals that charged patients with Covid-19 care and treatment costs of up to hundreds of millions of Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Health offices of several regions and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia have also been reported for neglecting and not carrying out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the law.

Based on the Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 59 of 2016, Law Number 6 of 2018 concerning health quarantine and Law Number 4 of 1984 concerning the prevention of epidemics, all costs of care and the treatment of Covid-19 patients must be borne by the nation from the time they are declared a suspected patient until they are cured. Furthermore, the financing criteria are regulated in technical guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, where the health office of each region is obliged to carry out supervision.

The complainants are families of patients or direct Covid-19 patients who are treated at referral hospitals on average during early to mid 2021. All five are eligible to be financed by the nation based on the Minister of Health Decree Number 4344 of 2021. However, they are forced to bear the costs themselves – Very expensive care and treatment starting from IDR 150 million and some even reach IDR 750 million.

Some of the reasons for this burden range from health facilities that limit the period of coverage to only 14 days, patients who are forced to go home even though they have not recovered and require treatment, requests for advances for treatment, reasons of hospital not cooperating with the BPJS Kesehatan to forcing an independent statement of coverage. In response to this problem, the health offices of several cities received complaints from the victims, instead of giving them a warning, confirming the violation in their response. Apart from that, there are also problems in handling as the Ministry of Health limits the coverage and reimbursement of Covid-19 medicine of the treatment costs by the Ministry of Health. These patterns violate the law and are acts of maladministration in the Covid-19 health service as a crucial public service during a health emergency.

The five victims who came from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali are just a few of the dozens of complaints the Coalition has received during 2021 regarding similar issues. Since January 2021, the Covid-19 Report has received at least 34 complaints from residents who complain about the cost of care and treatment of Covid-19 patients which is not fully borne by the nation. However, only five whistleblowers made complaints to the Central Ombudsman and the Republic of Indonesia Ombudsman.

Through this complaint, the Coalition and the victims hope that the Ombudsman can provide binding recommendations to the reported parties to restore the victims’ rights as well as to make structural improvements so that similar violations do not recur.

Victims and the Coalition were accepted directly by Mr. Teguh P. Nugroho as the Head of the Ombudsman for the Jakarta Province and also Dedy as the representative for the Complaints Division of the RI Ombudsman. Regarding the report to the Jakarta Raya Ombudsman, Mr. Nugroho said that the Jakarta Raya Ombudsman would examine the report. Furthermore, a consolidated report in the form of suggestions and corrective actions to policy makers, namely the hospital, the relevant health office, and the Ministry of Health.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-033-2021
Countries : Indonesia,
Issues : Administration of justice, Right to health, Right to life, Right to remedy,