The Fight for Reproductive Rights in Indonesia

header for SEAD Episode titled "The Fight for Reproductive Rights in Indonesia" with Diah Saminarsih and Ignatia Alfa pictures

In this episode, we will talk about the updates on Indonesia Health Bill progress and its problems, reproductive health issues on the Health Bill, and why this health bill needs to be monitored together.

INTRO

Welcome to New Naratif’s Southeast Asia Dispatches. I’m your host, Bonnibel Rambatan, Editorial Manager for New Naratif. New Naratif is a movement to democratise democracy in Southeast Asia, and this podcast is one of the ways we attempt to do just that.

Earlier this month, the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) and the government continued the legislative process of the Health Bill. The Legislative Body of the House of Representatives has sent the first draft of the Health Bill to Commission IX of the House of Representatives, demonstrating the government’s commitment to passing this legislation right away.

The rapidity with which the government and the House of Representatives drafted the Health Bill has drawn criticism, as has the public’s lack of access to information. The public was not adequately involved in the bill’s drafting and as a result cannot participate in any meaningful ways. The draft Health Bill still contains a number of problematic items that lack input from affected communities, one of which – i.e. issues of reproductive health and abortion – we’ll talk about in more detail in this episode.

Our interest here – as an organisation concerned with democracy – is twofold. First, collective action to mainstream, support, and monitor the bill before it is passed is a highly crucial act of democratic participation. But second, and more philosophically, democracy rests on self-determination, and that includes, as the saying goes, “My body my choice”.

After all, how can we determine the fate of our nation if we can’t even determine the fate of our bodies?

SPEAKER INTRODUCTION

Hi, everyone. I’m Diah Saminarsih, founder and CEO of Sisti Center for Indonesia strategic development initiatives.

That is Diah Satyani Saminarsih, Founder & CEO of Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives or CISDI. Diah is a psychologist by training, her professional journey has gone across consulting companies, national ministry/public institutions, and now multilateral organisations.

I’m Ignatia. I’m the policy and advocacy officer from IPAS Indonesia.

That is Ignatia Alfa Gloria. Currently, she is starting her journey in Yayasan IPAS, which stands for Inisiatif Perubahan Akses menuju Sehat, as Policy and Advocacy Officer. She believes every woman needs to be able to determine their own sexuality and reproductive rights. Beside her day job, she is also learning and doing stand up comedy.

We’ll be talking about the updates on Indonesia Health Bill progress and its problems, reproductive health issues on the Health Bill, and why this health bill needs to be monitored together. Of course, this issue can be quite sensitive, and there will be mentions of sexual violence and rape. So consider this your trigger warning.

INTERVIEW

Recent Updates on the Indonesia Health Bill

Thank you so much. I guess the background of us having this discussion is this recent updates on the Indonesia Health Bill, the progress here. Maybe we can talk a bit more about that.

So, for starters, when did the discussion begin? Who initiated it? What’s the process like?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

So the process, I think, began sometime early 2022. None of us are clear, actually, when the process actually began. As we all know, the early discussion or early onset of the health distraught law that’s going to be discussed here is not quite transparent until late in the process. So I don’t think we know for sure when is the exact date, exact month that’s being discussed that that discussion was kicked off.

We know that it began sometime in 2022 and late in the process. I think a couple of months ago civil societies and other development actors were invited to collaborate or to give inputs through a consultation process being host by the Ministry of Health.

Before that, there were several drafts that were not they say it was not the actual draft. So again, that was not very clear up until a couple of months ago, right before the consultation process began, that there was a draft being circulated to civil society and development actors.

And then that draft was the basis of the consultation process which began I think sometime in early March. And right now the discussion have then moved forward to several issues that are still conscientious in its substance and that needs more inputs from multiple stakeholders still for discussion.

Health Bill Issues

Can you tell us more specifically, like which parts of that are mostly of concern?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

Well, we know from what is available in the media and the past week there was protests from health workforce, from the medical and the overall human resource for health. That issue is still very much not clear yet what is the proposed solution, how we are going to mitigate how that draft law can answer the concerns of the health professionals. Several issues are still very open.

From CISDI side we input on mostly our areas of expertise, which is health system primarily at primary healthcare level. We also input tobacco control, the topic that we are going to discuss here, sexual reproductive health and other non clinical practice oriented, but still very much concerned about what will happen in the overall draft law itself.

Because the draft law, as you know, is large in scale and in size and there are still issues within it which I think we are going to discuss today is about the reproductive health and gender issues. It’s one among issues that still need to be ironed out.

So the details in this draft law is still very much not solved and mostly on health system, health service delivery, the underlying factor of gender and reproductive health, health promotion, in this case, tobacco control and other advocacy issues that are being hosted by this draft law.

Unpopularity of the Health Bill

Yeah. Thank you, Mbak Diah.

Mbak Igna, you’ve worked for quite a while in terms of how women should be able to determine my body, my choice, essentially, right?

Determine their own sexuality and they have full control of reproductive rights. What are your thoughts on the health bill?

Ignatia Alfa Gloria

Okay, so actually for me, the health bill is a good initiative and showing the intention of the government’s commitment to transforming the health system and also how they put the six building block from the WHO into transforming our health system. I think it’s a good initiative.

Also there are still a number of things that need to be strengthened such as ensuring the principles of patient centered care, non judgemental service and also the drafting of the bill itself is quite different compared to many other laws. It’s quite open to public.

Even the Ministry of Health opened a public discussion for approximately two weeks, I remember it well on March to accommodate the input from the community and also the legislative stated that they are still open for hearings. So we also send the list of issue to the MOH and we saw the change to the article based on this input.

Also we are aware of course, this was not only due to our input but there are also many other CSO like CISDI or SAWG who send a similar input. But unfortunately, this bill has not been a popular discussion in the society like during discussion about the penal code bill or omnibus law on job creation.

So I think for now mostly the discourse regarding this bill is still dominated by the perspective of the health workers.

Major Areas of Improvement

I see. Do you foresee any risk about that? What are the current major areas of improvement that you hope for in the current draft? The health bill.

Ignatia Alfa Gloria

Okay, so of course we will hope that the bill itself will be harmonised with the other existing law. For instance, the abortion articles need to be in line with the articles about abortion in the penal code and also we need to harmonise it with the law regarding the sexual violence.

So I think regarding as an overall for the reproductive health itself, we need to ensure that this bill, it needs to be included several principles regarding the service, which is the patient centered and also the comprehensive.

I think by accommodating and put these two principles towards the bill, it will ensure that there will be a better service for the health in general and the sexual and reproductive health in special. For instance, the patient centered consisting of three components which are the quality, the access and the option.

For the quality itself, it needs to ensure providing healthcare that is free of discrimination, nonjudgmental and utilise the appropriate technology. For the access it needs to ensuring easy, affordable and also legal access. And for the option it should provide various choice of methods or types of treatment and the widest possible information so that the patient can choose according their needs.

And also it should be comprehensive which provide complete and correct information, education, counseling and also providing health service according to the patient needs.

So we believe in IPAS Indonesia that if this principle is used as a perspective in building and running the health system, then in the practice the health service could be accessed fairly and equally by all groups, including groups of diverse gender and sexuality and other vulnerable groups.

And also to answer specifically your question regarding what is the articles that we need to oversee regarding the reproductive and sexual health in our list of issue that we are submitted to the Ministry of Health and also the legislative, we highlighted the articles regarding the reproductive health, family planning, and abortion. I think that’s three of the main issues that we are highlighting.

And also add another article that we need it to be put it inside of the health bill itself which is harmonising the principle regarding the violence towards women and children into this help law.

Why?

Because when it puts into the Health Law, it’s become the protection law that ensure that the service regarding the violence against women’s and children will be there and the health providers have the responsibility to provide that service towards the woman and girls and whoever who needs it.

Most of the time the service providers are reluctant to give that kind of services, for instance the emergency contraception for the victim of sexual violence.

Use Health Perspective Instead of Religious Norms

Yeah, I do agree. I mean that’s a very crucial aspect of if we’re talking about the relations of health care and gender and all of that, there’s still a lot of discrimination which we’ll go back to that but yeah, do you have any additions to this?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

Yeah, I think we should also underline that this draft law has not tackled the issue of abortion. That is one of the issue within the sexual and reproductive health that should be submitted to be underlined and to be addressed in this draft law the part about abortion regulation, how it is forbidden to do an abortion based on religious norms.

And then I think the fundamental thinking must be shifted in this case that

since this is a draft law for health that the perspective, the lens to view, it must be viewed from health and medical perspective instead of religious norms.

And then of course consequently in the person who perform this abortion also have to be consequences as take the consequences as the perpetrator as a criminal while not thinking about or looking at it from a health perspective.

And as well, of course the overall gender perspective is still missing. Just denote that the overall gender perspective is missing in this. I think gender and sexuality is being confused, gender is being seen as sexuality, is it men, women or other population groups not being addressed as an inequality inequity social construct or social norm vulnerable populations.

I think the consequences and the intricacies of the missing perspective and missing element of that thinking in this draft law is crucial and notably missing.

Why?

Because we are designing a draft law not just for today, we are designing a draft law for a long time in the future as if we note our draft bill today. The draft law today is already 36 years old. So let’s say this current draft that the parliament and government are designing and we are inputting on will also extend for the next 2030 years.

So we have to think ahead of what our society will look like in the coming 20 to 30 years. What will be the health consequences, the medical consequences, the public health impact? I think that type of fundamental thinking is notably missing from this current flaw and thereby consequently also missing the detailed element which Mbak Igna just laid out earlier.

The abortion issue is just one of them. If we look at each issue and then go deeper into the details in each issue we will find many details are still missing. And I think,

if we want public health development, medical innovation in Indonesia to happen in the next 10, 20, or 30 years, then the basis will have to be this law.

And we cannot have an an inclusive and diversive law if this element on sexual and reproductive health and gender are not being addressed properly at this point in time. And we are using our current dogmatic thinking and missing out on the impact of health and impact or consequences in medical and clinical service delivery.

When we are only thinking about it from the social norm and the religious norm, not from what is good for public health, what will be safe for patients. Because we cannot say, oh, you cannot do an abortion, for example. There are medical conditions which will require abortion, there will be social and economic consequences.

There are right now situations where especially in the current situation after the pandemic where people are out of jobs, they have social and economic pressure pushing them into vulnerable group social and economic vulnerable population which then sadly push them to make decisions about their social reproductive rights whether they are a married couple or whether not a married couple.

So I think that type of diversity in thinking and including everyone must be seen from a public health angle, not from mainly religious or social norm that has been passed down through generations.

But now we are designing a new bill that has requirement to be relevant for the next more than 10 to 20 years. So I think that is just one of the element and of course from the tobacco control perspective, Indonesia is already one of the highest countries with regard to the number of smokers. So how to prevent smoking to be going down from in age young smokers?

This is a circle which relates to one another. We cannot just say okay, we are now talking only about sexual and reproductive health and the consequences. All issues under the health issues are interrelated with one another and each of them have health consequences.

So I think first and foremost fundamental thinking, the rational in thinking about this draft law needs to be revisited and then we give our input based on that revision of rationale that should be included from the very beginning in the draft law. So that’s why we are very passionate about it. But also I note Ignat’s point about how difficult it is for us as health civil society organizations to get the public moving and input on this traffic law because we need inputs from outside of health.

We need also ownership from the general public for this draft law. So it’s not only us, we would invite everyone to join in and make use of this time to give input to the draft law.

Penal Code & Health Law

Yeah. As you mentioned, a lot of these different things connect with one another, not only in the health, not necessarily industry, but like, the health topics, but also, as Mbak Igna has mentioned about how to synchronise this, how to harmonise this with laws and perspectives on the criminal code and then sexual violence, how we view all those things.

It also reminded me of, don’t quote me on this, but talking about the pandemic, people lose their jobs, but also there’s been an increase that I’ve heard on cases of domestic domestic violence and then that might lead to needs for abortion and also sexual and reproductive health. All of those things are essentially connected. So let’s talk about that.

Mbak Igna, you did mention earlier about this need for harmonising or synchronising all of these perspectives. Could you maybe elaborate on that point a little more and what are the risks involved?

But also, how do you foresee this concretely being synchronised? Because these will be like different bills, right? Maybe you can elaborate on that a bit?

Ignatia Alfa Gloria

Yeah, that’s true. Okay. Especially like in the current health law that existed regarding the abortion, there is two exception, which is for medical indication and also for the pregnancy due to rape. And for the pregnancy because of rape, the limitation is six weeks. But then in our US penal code it’s increased.

I mean, like the exception getting a bit broader, which is for medical indication, pregnancy because of rape and also pregnancy because of other sexual violence that may end up as a pregnancy, for instance, for Smeary age or sexual slavery.

So not only for rape, and that’s what we are thinking because it’s getting a bit broader. And also the penal code itself stated that the limitation for the pregnancy because of rape and because of other sexual violence is up to 14 weeks, which is good, and it’s based on the who newest guideline in 2022.

So we want to ensure that what’s already rolled in the penal code will be in line or harmonised within the health law. And we are seeing this good intention from the MOH, which in their newest list of issue that has been submitted to the parliament, they already harmonised 8 articles regarding abortion with the penal code itself.

Rule for Exception

Thank you for the explanation on that. I wanted to ask though, in current maybe this is more for media, right? There’s lots of criminalization of abortion going on right now.

Especially, I mean, yeah, we hope there will be less of that, especially because of the whole expanding the definition, expanding the people, the legality of abortion itself. But how do you see this criminalisation of the abortion providers and how do you think this impacts health workers in general?

Not the ones receiving the services abortion, but the one performing and the one, the health care workers themselves. How does this affect them?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

Okay, I think first we have to understand that we do not rule for exception. I think that’s the fundamental formula. When you set up a regulation, you do not rule for exception.

So what are the exceptions? The exceptions are the true criminal cases. We have to admit there are criminals, there are criminal acts which relate to sexual, reproductive health issues. However, when we talk about draft law, we are passing a bill on health.

We have to also bear in mind that the process in which we are setting up that law must be solely on the basis of health. Solely. So we have to rule if we stand on the perspective of the use the head of health workers, they take an oath to ensure safety for their patients, to uphold lives, to save lives.

So I think it’s wrong when you approach it from different angle that you think oh, every abortion is criminal. No, abortion a lot of times majority of abortion are really health issues. We think that abortion is criminal because that’s what we see in the media. That’s the bias. So if Igna quoted WHO, the standpoint of a WHO guideline is always pro health for health.

So I think if Indonesia is doing a draft law on health, then it should firmly stand on pro health. So that’s the fundamental, the criminalisation of this, the wrong approach for this abortion issue will impact greatly on health workforce.

Why?

Because they will bear the brand of making decisions at clinical decisions that they have to make, which will, if they make safe or not safe the people’s lives. So we have to know for sure every decision that health worker’s party is to save lives. No doubt there is not a single health worker that is not going to save lives.

That’s the majority why I say that because again, my first point we do not rule for exception. This law should think about the process by which health workers make that decision. So criminalisation of health workforce as a default will impact how they make their decisions, how they decide make a clinical decision as they deliver service.

So we must not do that because if we do that, then in the end we will never achieve the SDGs, we will never save lives of mothers, we will never save lives of newborns. So that’s the very far end.

But it will take the toll on health workforce because then trust is being taken from them, as if they are not saving lives, as if they do not have that in their mind, they take an oath. So I think we have to make that at the forefront of this health law.

And in the end, if health worker’s party not enabled to deliver and make decisions to save lives, then the public will bear the consequences. Mothers who actually needed abortion based on health issues are not being given that. Plus, I think if we want to go further, every woman should be able to make decisions on her body, on her own.

I think that’s the very fundamental rights, that’s the right space. And I think that’s also the perspective of a WHO guideline. So I think this discussion needs still to be made between religious leaders, social activists, health, public health activists, parliamentarians, just to make sure that everyone is not being hurt again.

Why?

Because we want a draft law that is relevant for 2030 years in the future, relevant in public health and in medical services perspective. So this has to accommodate a very wide variety of possibilities that will happen.

So that’s why I think that discussion and also the complexities within it must be addressed and discussed right now.

Do Not Avoid Confrontation

Yeah, it’s a very crucial point there, but that we need to obviously we need to look at it from a health perspective, but also take as a basis the notion that my body, my choice, as you mentioned, right.

But then there’s involving a lot of people, involving a lot of parties there. You can’t deny that maybe some parties would still really approach this issue in a very moralistic sense, while other parties because health and gender perspectives isn’t exactly the default for a lot of people, unfortunately for a lot of people.

So by involving multiple parties here, while it is important, do you foresee, I don’t know, a clash of values between the parties involved? For example, Mbak Diah or Mbak Igna has any thoughts on this also?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

Yeah, perhaps if I may continue on that line of thought. Of course there will be clash. We are in a discussion and it’s okay to clash as long as we I think when we are discussing draft law, we just have to remain steadfast by the facts, by data, by evidence, right.

So that legal bill which will be passed are solely based on evidence. Of course, with the diversity of Indonesia, there will be, like you said, persons or groups which come solely from moralistic perspective. And that’s okay. There are groups who come solely from scientific perspective.

The discussion will then measure will be able to measure where is Indonesia? What do we foresee for Indonesia in the future?

I think we should not avoid confrontation

We should not avoid clashes as long as we start from all of us agree that what we are discussing is not about it’s not questioning your moral value, it’s not judging anyone’s moral value. It’s making a boundary for Indonesia’s public health and health development.

So we discuss all the possibilities possible, whether it’s from moral perspective, whether from scientific perspective, whether from social perspective, but based on accidents. Moral issues have evidence too and we can discuss that with cool heads, I think, and we should not shy away from having a heated discussion because all of us know that what we are discussing is for the good of the people.

So I think those who bear the responsibilities of being in the parliament as the amplifiers of people’s voice and those who are as public policy experts or public policymakers, I think needs to stand objectively and not let our personal bias get into the discussion.

This is a discussion to determine what will be best for public health in the future in Indonesia, I think, of course there will be clash and it’s difficult to separate state and religion. We all know in any country that’s difficult. So let’s just approach it from policy perspective, if I may say that. And of course from what will be best for public health

Public Health Matter

Okay, I want to hear from Igna first. What are your thoughts on these potential and clashes?

Ignatia Alfa Gloria

I’m also echoing one that you already mentioned, which is we should see abortion as a public health matter and ideally abortion service would be seen as a medical choice, medical needs, medical action, not a criminal act, but because it’s still categorised as a crime and in the current law there is no appointment from the MOH Corp.

The health facility that can give the service, the Health Worker’s Party reluctant to provide the services to women and in the end women cannot get the service and they try unsafe methods. Sometimes they end up dying and in the end of the day it increased the maternal mortality rate. So we hope and we aim for a world where every pregnancy is wanted. So it should be a choice.

And as matters of classes and morality, religion norms, social norms or whatsoever, I think it will always be there in every step of our life, whether when the policymakers create policy and any other things. But yeah, even though there is a different opinion based on the religion value or maybe the norms, we need to be what is it objective to see something.

For instance, when we talk about abortion. In reality nowadays when a service providers object to give you not even abortion, but contraception for instance, they instead will give you an advice. While in reality they should give you a referral to other service provider that will give them the service.

And in the letters list of issue from the MOH. The religious norms are no longer included in the abortion articles, even though they are still written in other articles related to reproductive health or family planning.

But yeah, however, in reality, service providers uphold their moral value that are followed and from several public discussions that are held by the MOH and also the hearings that held by the legislative, the health workers mentioned they’re reluctant to provide service because it’s conflicted with the religious value and the social norms.

But even though they are reluctant, it is the reality. There is women, there is pregnant people that need the service, the abortion service, the contraception service. So it should be there because it’s a public health matter.

Mainstreaming the Issue

Yeah, I agree. I think you touched upon a very important point there. There should be space for personal beliefs if you don’t want to do certain things. But if this personal belief caused you to actually push for criminalisation and just really block the services for other people who need it, that’s where it becomes a problem, right?

So I think these clashes of morality and stuff like that, it doesn’t necessarily have to impinge on people’s personal beliefs. If they don’t want to do it as an individual, that’s fine. But it’s important to have access, to have information on where people can actually choose to have legal and safe abortion if and when they need it. I think that would sum up the approach here, the proper approach that we should be pushing for.

So I guess now we come to the tougher questions here. It’s like, how do we make this come true, right? How do we keep pushing this?

Because as you mentioned there earlier, there’s this window of opportunity that we really need to make use of before it’s set in stone, while we can still give feedback to it, while we can still gather together to actually talk about it, have these discussions, okay, what do we need to do?

How do you make this come true? How do you push for our visions to come true with this really huge potential of the health bill?

Ignatia Alfa Gloria

Yeah, I think in my opinion, we need to keep doing the advocacy works for this health bill. We need to do the hearings, we need to mainstreaming this issue to the public. We need to conduct like press conference and invited the media after media to write about the health bill based on our perspective.

Because from what I saw up to this day, most of the news or articles or the perspective regarding the health bill is still on the side of the health workers. While I say it in the beginning, this health bill will affect every person in Indonesia because it’s related to health. Because it’s not the interest of the health workers only.

It should be the interest of all the Indonesian people. Therefore, we need to understand what is inside this bill.

I mean. We can raise a lot of public interest when we talk about the panel thought, when we talk about the omnibus law regarding the job creation. So we need to create this public interest also regarding the health bill, because it will be our interest what we talk about today regarding the abortion, regarding contraception, it’s only a very small part of this health bill.

There are so many things that will be rolled in this also regarding the PGS for instance, and many other things. So it should be the interest of the public. So yeah, we need to mainstreaming this during the hearings with the Legislative, with the Ministry of Health, because I believe this is one thing that’s quite effective.

Why?

Because during the public hearings that are conducted by the Ministry of Health on March, they gathered the input from the society and we saw some of the articles that become slightly better than the first version.

For instance, let me read it to you in the chapter on reproductive health articles 39 the Ministry of Health, in their list of issue that has been sent to the legislative met an alteration to the narrative which states everyone has the right to live a reproductive and sexual life that is healthy, safe and free from discrimination, coercion and or violence by respecting nobel values that do not demean human dignity.

So this means government intend to guarantee that the reproductive health services are for all. And also another interesting article is from the contraception. The article 45, the government also proposed a narrative family planning health efforts are carried out at the childbearing age and everyone has the right to have access to family planning services.

So far, access to contraception at health service has been limited. It’s only for the married couple. So it is difficult, for instance, for victim of sexual violence to get emergency contraception. So through these articles, if it’s been passed and it be our health law in the future, it means that the government is committed to ensuring access to contraceptive service, including for victims of sexual violence.

So I think it’s important for us to keep seeing how this law is progressed and to keep giving our feedback for the legislative and also the Ministry of Health and also mainstreaming this issue in the public.

Joint Advocacy

Mbak Diah, what are your thoughts?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

Yeah, I think to add to that what Mbak Igna was saying, I think we have to understand and acknowledge that this draft law is huge in size and there is

no single organisation that will have expertise to tackle everything in the draft law.

And that’s why we need all experts on deck to give inputs, to push for room for inclusion and inputs.

Right now, I think we have to note that there are blocks in one area, the negotiation or the consultation is happening and inputs are being accommodated. However, in other areas, inputs are not being taken at all and it’s blocked.

Why? Because it’s so big.

And then from that we know that the stakeholders are very diverse as well, with different, I think, perspective on things as well, from the perspective of health workers, from the perspective of sexually, reproductive and gender issues, from the perspective of health system like CISDI, or tobacco control like CISDI. So there are so many and so diverse.

We cannot do it alone, but I’m sure we can do it together. And advocacy efforts in this type of consultations on such giving input on such a huge document is not far from simple.

It’s very complicated. And I think we should also, between us, ensure that we maintain good communications between all the organisation and stakeholders involved, while at the same time we ensure that all of us, giving the public as well the information and the updates that the public need.

What I’m seeing in a demo from the health workforce a few days ago, what I’m seeing the message is as well, it’s giving input to the public, giving information, communicating to the public. And the expression is through demonstration.

But there can be other communication expressed with, like Mbak Igna said press conference opinion pieces in newspaper interviews like this, or doing advocacy, single advocacy to Parliament and also to government. But I think what will be more effective is we do join advocacy to government and to Parliament.

So I think the ideal if health workforce or professional organisations like CISDI and like IPAS and other like minded organisations come together and do a joint advocacy to parliament and government that will create the critical mass and the momentum to push and do this.

Now, since it’s not being passed yet, take this opportunity to do that, to join and to make a collaborative effort instead of a single advocacy effort.

What can the Listeners do?

Yeah, I think this leads nicely to. Probably the last question. I believe that I think a lot of listeners of this podcast, this is something new, not not the issues themselves, but the fact that this is crucial and it’s happening right now.

And I think a lot of the listeners will also think like, okay, but I’m not an expert. I’m not joining any kind of advocacy groups. I’m here listening to these issues. But these issues are important for me.

So what can the listener do then, if they’re not joining? Is there a way to learn more or to share more about these issues?

And how can the listener monitor the progress of these issues? And how can the listener support these advocacy efforts? Advocacy attempts?

Diah Satyani Saminarsih

I think the listeners are the beneficiaries of this draft law which will be passed into law sometime. I think that will be in the future. One of the most plausible scenario is that we will have a new law on health.

So the listeners, if I may ask the listener to think that what do you want? How do you want health service delivery to look like or to be felt like for you as the beneficiary of all this discussion about policy and regulation?

What will make you safe? What will make you feel taken care of health wise? If you access health facilities?

If the pandemic happens again, which will happen, we just don’t know when, but will happen, how do you want yourself to be protected from that? Again, what do you want your health ecosystem to look like?

And I think the the best outlet for the general public to do this is of course, organisations like CISDI or IPAS have our social media outlets, social media handles. That can be the bridge of communication, the platform of communication between the general public and advocacy organisations like CISDI and IPAS, but also the general public have access to their own social media handles.

As a person, how do you want as an individual, how do you want health service to look like for you? I think we need that conversation to happen more in the public expressed by an individual instead of by an organisation like CISDI that will resound more to people in the parliament and also to policymakers.

Thank you. Mbak Igna, what are your thoughts?

Ignatia Alfa Gloria

I think Mbak Diah already thought about all of that nicely about what the public can do. So, yeah. In the upcoming weeks, we, as in the coalition, which is there is CSIDI, there is IPAS, there is also some other organisation. We’ll conduct several activities like press conference, doing the press release and also doing public discussion.

And if you can follow our social media handling, you can know more about the upcoming activities. And if you are interested in this and I think you need to be interested in this because this will be your interest, because this is about help.

Yeah, you can follow us and know more about what is the upcoming event or maybe campaign that you can contribute with. You can share it to your family group WhatsApp. Or you can share it in your own media social.

So, yeah, make more people knows and aware about this health bill. It is important.

Okay. It’s been an amazing discussion. Thank you so much for providing your thoughts and your expertise on this issue. And I agree that this is a very crucial one.

While the window is still open, we need to push and really support this advocacy efforts.

Thank you very much.

OUTRO

And that wraps up our discussion with Diah Satyani Saminarsih and Ignatia Alfa Gloria. Joint advocacy efforts are crucial, but they could only gain momentum with the support of the wider public.

Find resources and updates on the Health Bill by following their social media handles at @cisdi_ID and @ipas_ID on twitter and instagram.

Amplify the issues with your likes, reposts, and retweets. Comment on the posts and threads, share the discussions with your circles, write about them, support the protests, and help push for the advocacy efforts. There’s still time for now, but there might not be in the near future.

My name is Bonnibel Rambatan, and this has been Southeast Asia Dispatches. Brought to you by New Naratif, and produced by Dania Joedo. I’ll see you around.

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