Wednesday, 20 November 2019

BPJS Kesehatan Apologizes for 'Joker' Facebook Post

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Editor:

Laila Afifa

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  • Illustration of the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan). TEMPO/Aditia Noviansyah

    Illustration of the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan). TEMPO/Aditia Noviansyah

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) Chairman, Iqbal Anas Ma’aruf, has issued an official apology for a social media post linking DC’s fictional character Joker to people suffering from mental issues. He maintains the agency did not intend to offend the public with its initially harmless post. 

    “We offer our sincere apology if the content in question is offensive toward a group of people. The reason we posted it was in the greatest intentions to portray how the National Healthcare program contributes to the lives of people with mental issues,” said Iqbal to Tempo on Thursday, October 10. 

    The content was initially posted on Facebook which saw the picture of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker character with the words; “The JKN-KIS (healthy Indonesia card) covers the treatment of people with mental disorders to prevent the creation of other Jokers.”

    This post was heavily criticized by the mental health community that eventually sent a subpoena to BPJS Kesehatan. They deemed the post offensive toward people with mental issues; for comparing them to a fictitious criminal portrayed by the DC villain character. 

    The BPJS Kesehatan defends that it was initially posted due to many questions from the public asking about the agency’s coverage in cases portrayed in the movie. He also admits it was a euphoric reaction to the popular movie and was not meant in any way to discredit people with mental health issues. 

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA