Indonesian critic condemns draft health law as based on ‘fake paper’

Indonesian health workers in Jakarta protest against the controversial draft Health Law
Indonesian health workers in Jakarta protest against the controversial draft Health Law last month. Image: IndoLeft News/CNBC

By Singgih Wiryono in Jakarta

Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) chair Muhammad Isnur has condemned the drafting of the Healthcare Bill (RUU Kesehatan) as “fake”, saying that the draft is almost the same as the Omnibus Law on Job Creation (Cipta Kerja).

According to Isnur, the similarity can be seen from a test of the academic context, which like the Jobs Law is unable to be seen.

“Should we say it’s a fake — yeah, the academic manuscript is fake,” he said.

Isnur said that the initial study or academic manuscript used in the drafting the draft Health Law was written carelessly and it had no legitimacy.

It could not be called an academic manuscript as the basis for drafting a law.

“For example, in the research methodology it quotes several specialists or experts whose books are outdated, their books have even been revised by the authors themselves,” said Isnur.

Isnur noted that the Health Bill would result in the reevaluation of policies in other laws, yet the references in the academic manuscript were unclear, including who did the research for it.

Lack of accountability
“We also do not know at all who drafted this. How can this be accountable as an academic manuscript if we don’t know who wrote it,” he said.

The YLBHI along with 42 other civil society groups are asking that the ratification of the Health Bill be postponed.

Aside from the fact that the academic manuscript was similar to Jobs Law, several concerns were raised by the Civil Society Coalition such as the deliberations on the law which were closed and without meaningful public participation.

Another reason was the weakness of the argument that the Health Bill was urgent and therefore needed to use the omnibus law method.

The law was also seen as tending to lead towards the liberalisation of the health system, expanding the privatisation of health services and would eliminate the minimum allocation for the health budget.

The centralisation of healthcare management by the central government is also regarded as reducing independent learning and development in the health sector.

Translated by James Balowski for Indoleft News. The original title of the article was “YLBHI: RUU Kesehatan Bodong Naskah Akademiknya, seperti UU Cipta Kerja”.

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