President Jokowi: National Health System Needs Massive Reforms
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for massive national health system reforms, including reforms on drug and drug raw material self-sufficiency.
“As we are all aware, around 90 percent of drugs and its raw materials still rely on imports despite our rich biological diversity both on land and in the oceans. This is clearly a waste of foreign exchange, widens the current account deficit, and hinders the growth of the domestic pharmaceutical industry,” the President said at the Opening of the National Working Meeting and Indonesian Pharmacist Association Annual Meeting via online, Thursday (5/11).
Therefore, the President said that that self-sufficiency in the medicine and medical device industry must be a shared priority and carried out in extraordinary ways amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Self-sufficiency in drugs and medical devices industry must be our priority and must be done in an extraordinary way by involving all the nation’s strengths including scientists, professionals and the industrial world,” he said.
The Head of State went on to explain that the pandemic, along with its effects, has brought many lessons, one of which is a sense of crisis in the pharmaceutical industry in conducting research, developing innovations, revitalizing the domestic pharmaceutical raw material industry, and strengthening the national pharmaceutical industry manufacturing structure.
“We must seize Indonesia’s rich biodiversity as the basic capital in reviving domestic drug industry. Biodiversity must be utilized to strengthen community resilience in the health sector. Phytopharmaca medicine needs to be facilitated to pass clinical trials and standardization so that it becomes a promotive and preventive treatment option,” President Jokowi said.
The President also expressed hope that the revival of the national pharmaceutical industry will simultaneously strengthen national economy, both for those working in the upstream and downstream industries and improve the welfare of farmers and MSMEs.
On that occasion, President Jokowi also invited participation of all elements of the society, from doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others to join hands in handling the pandemic, especially to support the COVID-19 vaccination program.
“I am appealing to everyone to participate in the chain of production, distribution and vaccination services by providing technical training related to vaccine handling, as well as in playing a role as a promoter and provide education about vaccines,” the President said.
Furthermore, the President also expressed hope that the National Working Meeting would produce various ideas and action plans to help accelerate the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic drug independence. (FID / BPMI / UN)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas