Four Main Actions for A Better Outbreak Management

Amru Aginta Sebayang20 Feb 2022

Jakarta, February 21, 2022 - The Center for Indonesia's Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI) is pushing the government to improve the regulatory framework for dealing with outbreaks, as stated in the 2022 Health Outlook that was published on January 27, 2022. They presented seven health policy recommendations to the government, one of them is reforming the regulatory framework for dealing with outbreaks.

“We appeal to the government so that regulations for handling outbreaks do not overlap and complement each other," said Gatot Suarman Ilyas, Executive Director of CISDI in his presentation.

Four main actions

CISDI mentions four main actions that need to be taken to fix this problem.

First, resolve the issue of overlapping regulatory frameworks for handling infectious disease outbreaks through harmonization of Law No. 4 of 1984 on Communicable Disease Outbreaks, Law no. 24 of 2007 concerning Disaster Management, Law No.36 of 2009 concerning Health, and Law no. 6 of 2018 on Health Quarantine.

In addition, the government also needs to issue technical guidelines for handling outbreaks that are updated regularly to facilitate ministries, agencies or non-government elements to formulate policies and organize grassroots support during policy implementation.

Second, adjusting the division of tasks and responsibilities at the central government level through expanding the role of Bappenas which has a network from the village level to the central government, while ministries and other institutions act as technical implementers and need to be given clear work targets.

Thus, the government needs to improve various indicators outside of handling the epidemic and reform various sectors, starting from the education system, social, economy, and so on.

Third, restore the mandate for managing the outbreak within the framework and decentralization.

As the pandemic handling scheme allows local governments to provide input regarding a policy, it is expected to open up space for regional policy innovation so that local people are willing to accept policies well. 

It is needed as policies based on community needs will be more easily realized rather than being managed by coordinating ministries that do not evaluate performance or provide feedback on regional policies.