The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) has called on the government to form a health protection committee for medical personnel as more than 100 members of the association have died fighting COVID-19 in the frontline.
“One concrete effort we hope from the government is to form a committee to protect medical and health workers,” IDI mitigation team leader Adib Khumaidi said on Tuesday as reported by Kompas TV.
IDI reported that as of Sunday, 115 doctors across Indonesia had died in the last six months. The association said it was the highest number in Asia.
Meanwhile, IDI said the number of doctors in Indonesia was the second-lowest in Southeast Asia, at 0.4 percent per 1,000 population, with a distribution that is concentrated in Java and big cities.
With the number, IDI estimated that one doctor could only serve 2,500 patients at best, leaving nearly 300,000 Indonesians without proper medical care.
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Adib suggested that the government involve relevant stakeholders in the health sector in forming the special committee.
“Health professional organizations certainly need more concrete tasks in the future in the efforts to protect medical and health workers, as well as to supervise protection efforts,” he said.
According to the Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI), 78 nurses nationwide had died of COVID-19.
The PPNI hosted an online gathering Tuesday to pay a tribute to the medical workers who lost their lives during the pandemic. The event was attended by several ministers who delivered their condolences and applauded the dedication of medical workers.
During the event, COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo said the community-based Pentahelix circle — a model comprising businesspeople, the government, community, academics and the media — must be incorporated into the nation’s main strategy to curb the spread of the virus.
“Nurses, doctors and medical workers should be the last fortress in battling this pandemic,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the Health Ministry has confirmed a total of 228,993 cases across the country, including 164,101 recoveries and 9,100 deaths. (syk)