People’s Forum demonstrates against hospital privatisation

Source – March 9, 2005
People's Forum for Health Concerns protest (Liputan 6)
People's Forum for Health Concerns protest (Liputan 6)

Niken Widya Yunita, Jakarta – Believing it will be commercialised, the People’s Forum for Health Concerns (Forum Rakyat Peduli Kesehatan) held a demonstration opposing the privatisation of the local public hospitals (RSUD) and turning them into limited companies.

The action was held by around 50 people at the Jakarta provisional parliament on Jalan Kebon Sirih in Central Jakarta starting at 11.30am on Wednesday March 9.

Demonstrators wore white head bands with the writing “Reject privatisation” and brought a number of posters with messages including “RSUD rats seeking big profits” and “Return RSUD to its social function”.

A red banner was also unfurled reading “Privatisation of RSUD an act which will bring suffering to society”. The demonstrators declared their opposition to the privatisation of the Pasar Rebo, Cengkareng and RS Haji Pondok Gede public hospitals.

In addition to this, they also called for government regulations 13, 14 and 15 of 2004 on changing local public hospital into limited companies to be revoked. “There will be no bargaining, we will continue to ask that the government regulations be revoked. We will hold continuous actions if [we] are not heard”, said the action’s public relations officer Rendra Valentino accusingly.

The demonstrators did not send representatives to meet with council members but instead asked the members to join the action. But as yet no council members were prepared to do so.

The action proceeded in an orderly manner and traffic flowed smoothly. Around 20 security personnel guarded the action while the gates to the parliament building were tightly closed. (sss)

[Translated by James Balowski.]