The House of Representatives passed the hospital bill into law yesterday, granting the government authority to oversee private hospitals and abolish their licences for misconduct.
Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said the new hospital law would provide better protection of patients' health services rights while in hospital.
"This is a breakthrough," said Siti. "With this law, we will now be able to regulate and oversee hospitals across Indonesia, including private hospitals and foreign-owned hospitals if the latter are established later on. Link to full article
"All hospitals will have to comply with our regulation," Siti denied an accusation that the law would benefit private hospitals, and said that it provided even stronger ground for regulating hospitals in Indonesia.
"We used to only have a ministerial regulation [to regulate hospitals]. Now it is strengthened with the presence of this law.
"And obviously the government can now supervise and charge hospitals. Formerly we could not do so.
"Besides, the spirit of the law is to protect patients, not hospitals."
The Health Ministry inspector general Faiq Bahfen explained that under the hospital law, hospitals that violated existing regulations could be prosecuted and, depending on the case, have their operating licences revoked.
The government will regulate private hospitals by applying a fee pattern, using cost units to determine hospital fees, Faiq said.
"We will determine the fee pattern. If the hospitals belong to the Health Ministry, the ministry will decide the fees,' he said. "If they are region-owned hospitals, then the regional administrations will decide the fees.
"Private hospitals can decide their own fees, but they must be in line with the fee patterns we are preparing."
The Head of the House's special committee for the hospital bill, Charles Tjensang, was quoted as saying on kontan.co.id that the hospital law would provide legal certainty for both patients and hospitals' owners.
He said the law would also guarantee quality of hospital services, with its ruling for regular medical and performance audits.
"Article 40 of the law specifies that to improve the quality of their services, hospitals must regularly take part in accreditation; at least once every three years," Charles said. "The accreditation will be carried by independent institutions according to accreditation standards."
He also said that the law specified patients and hospital owner's rights and obligation.
Charles also stated that Article 20 of the law specifies that ownership of public hospitals could not be handed to the private sector.
Committee member Umar Wahid, said the new law indicated the government's responsibility to pay hospital fees for people living in poverty, and that this would apply to both public and private hospitals.
Another committee member, Ribka Tjiptaning, said that the law did not allow class-based services in public hospitals and forbade hospitals from rejecting any patients.
"Public hospitals should have only third class," Ribka was quoted as saying by detik.com.
"Class-based services will no longer be allowed in government-owned hospitals."
As for private hospitals, she said, they were obliged to have 25 percent of their rooms as third-class.
Ribka also said that the law would protect patients' rights to complain about unsatisfactory service.