AmCham Indonesia hosted a healthcare forum “Coping with COVID’s Aggressive Growth” on Feb 18. The panel consisted of Professor Wiku Adisasmito of the COVID-19 Task Force, epidemiology specialist Pandu Riono, Lia G Partakusuma of the Indonesian Hospitals Association (PERSI), Varun Khanna of Siloam Hospitals, and Richard Jones of International SOS.
The event kicked off with an update from Professor Wiku on Indonesia’s strategy in mitigating the COVID-19 virus. He said the government’s most recent move was the creation of command centers (Posko) with the 5S (strategy, structure, system, skill, and speed) 1T (target) approach. Pandu then gave a brief overview of what Indonesia has done so far in combating the pandemic and emphasized public participation and the community are more important than any government regulations.
Lia gave an update on PERSI’s current situation, saying it faces the issue of handling an increasing number of non-COVID patients. PERSI is confronting this challenge through increasing infrastructure and adjusting its system to adapt to both COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
Members then learned of the challenges private hospitals are facing in fighting the pandemic. Varun agreed with Lia’s concerns over the increasing number of non-COVID patients and said Siloam had also taken action by cleaning specific healthcare centers for non-COVID patients with chronic illnesses and dedicating three hospitals solely for COVID-19 patients.
Richard then spoke on the COVID-19 vaccine, explaining how safe it is and that severe side effects are very uncommon. He also said health and safety protocols should be observed even after receiving the vaccine, as there is still the possibility of becoming infected.
Members asked many questions, including on how to get more information on the vaccination program, the progress on existing targets, and future plans from the government. Overall, the forum further reaffirmed the importance of robust policies and public participation in pandemic response measures, in the hope the curve will flatten as soon as possible.