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Indonesians Could Be Healthier with Stronger Public-Private Partnerships

Untung Suseno Sutarjo, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health (KalderaNews/@BankDunia)
JAKARTA, KalderaNews.com - More effective collaboration between the public and private sectors can help deliver better healthcare to more Indonesians, said senior officials from government and multilateral organizations at a high-level conference on public private partnership for the health sector. This event was co-hosted by the World Bank Group and the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Global Initiative on Health and the Economy, and attended by the Ministers and senior officials of Finance and National Development Planning.

While Indonesia has improved in some health indicators in recent decades – life expectancy has improved to 69 years in 2014 compared to 49 years in 1960 – low public spending on healthcare has led to unequal access to quality healthcare.

In his opening remarks, Untung Suseno Sutarjo, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health stated, “the challenges in Indonesia include a double burden disease with increasing non-communicable diseases and persistent communicable diseases. To overcome these conditions, the involvement and support from everyone including the private sector is welcome.”

Minister of National Development Planning, Bambang Brodjonegoro reiterated, “to ensure higher spending will produce better outcomes, more meaningful improvements are required at all levels. The private sector can support the Government’s endeavor by using various means such as implementing lower project and operational costs while continuing to use expertise and latest technology to maintain high quality of service delivery.”

Despite gains in revenue collection and more efficient spending in priority sectors, fiscal constraints remain. Public-private partnerships can be used to mobilize private finance, increase access, improve quality of service, introduce efficiencies in the delivery of public health services, introduce innovations and technology, and finally improve health outcomes.

“More involvement of the private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) will help timely project delivery and within budget estimations. Private sector participation will also broaden opportunities for innovation and technology, resulting in more affordable but higher quality healthcare for Indonesians,” said Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Indonesia has one of the world’s largest single-payer social health insurance programs, and coverage rates has increased, from 27 percent in 2004 to about 76 percent today.


Rodrigo A. Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia (KalderNews/@BankDunia)
Providing a platform for information exchange in healthcare innovation, financing and service delivery between various stakeholders, the conference encouraged collaboration among Ministries and other institutions in formulating effective health sector regulations for the better design and management of partnerships.

The three elements that must be addressed in discussing universal health care, advised the World Bank, are health financing, governance, and universal access to quality service delivery. “Public-private partnerships are not the silver bullet to solve every problem in the sector. But it can be an important tool to support government efforts in expanding access to quality service delivery so that all Indonesians benefit from better healthcare,” said Rodrigo A. Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia.

During the event, the Head of the Chamber’s Global Initiative on Health and the Economy discussed the opportunities for greater collaboration with its member companies. “The private sector is eager to offer learnings and perspective from global best practices in healthcare policy and financing. We stand ready to compliment the Indonesian Government’s resources and leadership in support of health goals with access to technology, information, disease area expertise, and operational creativity,” said Catherine Mellor, Executive Director for the Global Initiative on Health and the Economy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In the panel discussions, speakers from government and private institutions discussed challenges in the health sector and recent initiatives, as well as lessons learned and success stories of public private partnerships in other sectors. (JS)


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