An Integrated Effort to Get Through the Pandemic

Amru Aginta Sebayang28 Feb 2022

Jakarta, March 1st 2022- According to the CISDI’s 22 Health Outlook, handling outbreaks in services and financing is inseparable from the health system that the government needs to have an integrated system. Primary health care (puskesmas) play an important role in ensuring that tracing, testing and isolation processes. The handling of a pandemic that tends to be centralized, uniform and compartmentalized tends to make it difficult for Indonesia to emerge from this health crisis.

“What we want to highlight here is how transformative primary health services can be an effective solution for dealing with health crises," said Gatot Suarman Ilyas, Executive Director of CISDI.

“On the other hand, strong primary health services during or after a pandemic crisis is also a guarantee for improving health services during a pandemic,” he added.

Strengthening primary health care services 

CISDI urges the government to place primary health care as a long-term solution through the following steps:

First,mobilize and prepare priority resources for puskesmas. The resources referred to include (1) human resources (HR), (2) infrastructure, (3) laboratory capacity, (4) the number of case trackers, to (5) supporting efforts to deal with community-based outbreaks.

Second, empower health cadres in efforts to deal with the outbreak. This commitment will encourage various innovations in handling outbreaks at the grassroots level, such as community-based surveillance or assisting vulnerable groups and providing public health literacy.

Third, utilize telemedicine technology. The use of telemedicine technology and online-based applications help track and screen cases. It also functions to ensure that primary health services, which may be very limited, run efficiently during a pandemic.

Fourth, socialize the revised COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines to anticipate the spread of new worrying variants through the involvement of various professional organizations and civil society networks to reach more people.

"By integrating pandemic control into the service mechanism and financing of the health system, we hope that this health crisis can be overcome soon," Gatot concluded.