Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the University of Indonesia (UI) again inaugurated Professors from 3 faculties, one of which was the Faculty of Public Health (FPH). The Professor is Prof. Dr. dr. Dumilah Ayuningtyas, M.A.R.S., from the Department of Health Administration and Policy (AKK). Together with two other faculties, namely the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the inauguration ceremony was held offline at the University of Indonesia Convention Center.
At this inauguration ceremony, Prof. Dr. dr. Dumilah Ayuningtyas, M.A.R.S., delivered an inaugural speech entitled, “Health Policy Development for Vulnerable Groups: The Urgency of Strengthening Political Priorities”. Prof. Dumilah described how disparities in health services still occur in Indonesia. “The Secretary General of IDI explained that the number of doctors in Indonesia is sufficient, but they are concentrated in certain big cities and provinces. In DKI Jakarta, as the province with the best ratio of doctors, one doctor treats 608 residents, while in West Sulawesi, the province with the lowest ratio, one doctor takes care of 10,417 residents,” said Prof. Dumilah. This is very unfortunate considering that obtaining the best health standard is a fundamental right of every human being.
Vulnerable groups, which according to WHO are defined as the homeless, people living in inadequate housing, migrant workers, persons with disabilities, people living in remote areas, people living in poverty, people affected by vulnerability, and people affected by the digital divide, until now, their right to health has not been fulfilled. In fact, the definition of vulnerable groups according to Law Number 39 of 1999 is still limited to certain groups and should be updated. “Several vulnerable groups that have not received optimal attention include Indigenous Peoples or Remote Indigenous Communities, PLWHA and Migrant Workers,” stressed Prof. Dumilah.
Strengthening political priorities in terms of developing health policies for vulnerable groups needs to be done because it will force policy makers to increase political will in expending energy and efforts to achieve their political goals. This is in line with the main target of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, “Leave No One Behind”. The COVID-19 pandemic is clear evidence of how the political priorities for handling the pandemic have succeeded in turning a chaotic situation into an achievement.
Prof. Dumilah then presented a Predictive Model for Strengthening Political Priorities in Health Policy Development which she had adapted to Indonesian conditions. “The complexity of the dynamic situation in Indonesia means that it is impossible to describe the development of health policy simply by referring to the existing standard framework or model. Adaptation and contextualization adjustments are needed from the previous framework to be able to analyze and understand the situation that is happening,” said Prof. Dumilah. This model is a framework for predicting whether health policy development for vulnerable groups is going well.
In closing, Prof. Dumilah read a poem that narrated how strengthening political priorities for health policy development would be meaningful for society, especially vulnerable groups. The hope is that the gaps and gloom of health services for vulnerable people will one day become displays in museums with the implementation of political priorities that have been voiced from the start.
Prof. Dr. Dra Dumilah Ayuningtyas, M.A.R.S., is the 35th Professor of FPH UI. (BK)