Tag: health in indonesia

Dr. Corona chairs campaign to contain coronavirus chaos

It seems he was born and named for the job. Emergency medicine expert Dr. Corona Rintawan is heading a task force set up by Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“The Muhammadiyah COVID-19 Command Center (MCCC) is set up to consolidate all Muhammadiyah assets in an integrated effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” Rintawan said.

Rintawan was appointed to lead the MCCC, an interdisciplinary task force with 13 experts educating the public on how to stop the spread of the virus.

His emergency experience includes being in medical teams responding to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013 and the 2015 Nepal earthquake. He also took part in a humanitarian mission for the Rohingya in Myanmar in 2017.

“We are taking a proactive approach to assist the government in early diagnoses or early treatment for patients that show initial symptoms of infection,” Rintawan said.

He added: “We will ensure that such patients will receive treatment in accordance with the health protocol that the government has issued for the outbreak before we refer them to government hospitals should they need further treatment.”

The 45-year-old doctor, who is based at a Muhammadiyah-run hospital in Lamongan, East Java, said: “The public has to be well-informed that they could carry the risk of spreading the virus. We want to encourage the people to take the initiative to prevent it, by washing their hands often, getting themselves diagnosed should they feel they have symptoms, knowing when they have to wear face masks, donating masks to those who need them and eventually to self-isolate when necessary.

“It is about self-containment by one person who is aware of the situation and knows what to do to take care of oneself in the face of virus threats. It could create a positive domino effect in terms of reducing the potential to contract others with the virus.”

According to Rintawan, Muhammadiyah has designated 20 out of its 171 hospitals across the country to serve as referral facilities for persons suspected of having contracted the virus.

Asked about his name, the doctor said his parents would name their children in alphabetical order. Being the third, his name had to start with “c.”

“There was no such thing as baby name books at that time, so they decided to take my name from the Toyota Corona car, which was a popular model back in the 1970s, and as they also found that it means a crown, which symbolizes something good,” he said.

Government spokesperson for the outbreak Achmad Yurianto said Indonesia reports 17 new Covid-19 positive cases as per Monday, of which 14 are in Jakarta, raising the total confirmed cases to 134 including the first Indonesian senior official contracted by the virus, transport minister Budi Karya Sumadi.

Jakarta Governo Anies Baswedan on Monday urged city residents to exercise social distancing and companies to send staff to work from home, as government officials sent signals that hospitals are overburdened in treating coronavirus patients, with Yurianto saying that not all positive cases should be in hospital isolation and those with asymptomatic cases can self-isolate at home.

“The risk in this city is high. We have to be disciplined in exercising social distance,” Baswedan said.

The story has been updated from its original version in Arab News

MUI fatwa on national health insurance scheme sparks debate

An edict by the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) that the national health insurance scheme does not follow Islamic principles has reignited debate on whether commercial insurance is compatible with sharia.

According to the MUI, the scheme known as Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional  (JKN) involves usury, gambling and manipulation.

“We recommend the government reform the current system to make it in line with Islamic principles,” said Amidhan Shaberah, an MUI deputy chairman.

Amidhan said the edict was made during a meeting of the MUI’s fatwa commission in Central Java last month.

The JKN was launched in January 2014 by the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with the aim of achieving universal healthcare coverage. The policy was continued under President Joko Widodo.

Among its criticisms, the council said that a fine of two per cent of the monthly premium imposed on insurance participants if they failed to pay for three months was usurious.

MUI said the current scheme should be allowed to continue until a new system that is in line with sharia is established.

The council is a semi-official body funded by the government, but its edicts are non-binding.

Some Islamic scholars believe that conventional insurance resembles gambling because they believe it involves uncertainty.

Other Muslim scholars disagreed with MUI.

“Insurance is a fairly new service and it is not regulated in traditional Islamic jurisprudence,” said Ulil Abshar Abdalla, the founder of the Liberal Islamic Network.

“Why some Muslim scholars consider insurance haram? Because when one buys an insurance policy from a provider, the two sides are gambling,” he said.

“But such principle can’t be applied in a modern economic system that is very complex. The only way to get around it is by re-contextualizing Islamic jurisprudence to answer modern problems.”

Indonesia aims to have every citizen covered by health insurance by 2020. As part of the scheme, the government pays premiums for 86.4 million people considered poor or near poor.

More than 142 million Indonesians, or just over half of the country’s 250 million people, are registered as participants as of this year.

The insurance operator, BPJS Kesehatan, expects the number to reach 168 million by the end of the year.