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September 8, 2020, 07.45 PM

JAKARTA, – Indonesia will provide free coronavirus vaccines to its low-income citizens who will be identified based on their membership classification in the government universal's healthcare insurance program.

In the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), Indonesia's poor and near-poor are provided health coverage through the so-called contribution assistance (PBI) — insurance premium that is paid for by the national or local government.

BPJS Kesehatan spokesman M. Iqbal Anas Ma’ruf the agency is ready to implement policies set by the government, including providing data reference for the recipients of free Covid-19 vaccination.

“BPJS Kesehatan as the provider of JKN-KIS [the National Health Insurance-Healthy Indonesia Card] program is ready to carry out the policies set by the government,” quoted Iqbal as saying on Monday, September 7.

Also read: Indonesias Covid-19 Health Worker Death Toll Sixth-Highest in the World

Iqbal added that BPJS Kesehatan has complete data of the recipients, including names and addresses. This data can be used as a reference guide for the recipients of the free Covid-19 vaccine based on the specified criteria.

Currently, there are about 96 million PBI participants. However, he said, the criteria for the recipients of the free Covid-19 vaccine is not for the BPJS Kesehatan to determine.

Previously, Erick Thohir, chief executive of the Covid-19 Handling and National Recovery Policy Committee, mentioned two schemes in the Covid-19 vaccine program.

Also read: Jokowi Optimistic Indonesian Economy Will Grow in 2021 Despite Covid-19

The first scheme will cover a free vaccination program to the low-income citizens who are registered as PBI participants — whose insurance premiums are fully covered by the state. While the second scheme comprises paid vaccinations for citizens who can pay on their own.

Erick said the government will provide free vaccines to doctors, nurses, and other citizens based on BPJS Kesehatan data. The total number of PBI recipients will also be verified before the vaccination program, he said.

(Editor: Yoga Sukmana)


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