COVID-19 would not be the last pandemic. As Indonesia moves forward, it is implementing six strategies in healthcare reform to ensure sufficient capacity and effective strategies to meet future disease outbreaks and embrace more preventive and promotive actions, to maintain a healthier population. Access to primary healthcare, secondary care transformation, health systems resilience, health financing, human health resources and healthcare technology (Biomedical Genome-Based Science Initiative) are the six key pillars that will play a pivotal role in this reform for the country.
Efficacy and accessibility of digital platforms are allowing more people to receive quality health services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia has utilised telemedicine, logistic, and communication services such as WhatsApp to set up vaccine registration systems and free online consultation with doctors and medicine delivery to people infected with the virus. Now over 500,000 PCR test results are automatically registered into the database every day by 70 registered and licensed telemedicine service providers and free telemedicine services can be accessed by the public through daily chat app. This exemplifies the fact that digital maturity in healthcare is an attainable goal, if it is encouraged and facilitated in the right manner.
Indonesia’s G20 presidency places a great emphasis on the healthcare sector. Building global health system resilience, harmonising global health protocol standards, and expanding global manufacturing and research hubs for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response are the three key focuses of the agenda and one of the concrete deliverables is the establishment of Financial Intermediary Funds to prevent, prepare, detect, and respond to future pandemics. As Chair of ASEAN in 2023, Indonesia has a common interest with the rest of ASEAN to strengthen regional capacities on this front.
In a crisis, the speedy delivery of goods and services is crucial. But when public capital is not readily available, the government can turn to the private sector and philanthropic efforts for support. It is crucial however for government to earn the trust and maintain this relationship between public, private and philanthropic community. Philanthropic funding often is the final critical enabler that will make a material impact on accelerating the fundamental changes needed.