TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati responded to the low absorption of the health budget for the Covid-19 handling, which was one of the subjects that annoyed President Jokowi during a cabinet meeting on June 18.
Sri explained that the Rp87.55 trillion budget was channeled to various parties, including the national and regional level of the Covid-19 mitigation task force. Thus, the state spending related to health affairs was not the sole responsibility of the Health Ministry helmed by Terawan Agus Putranto.
“So in this case, some perceive that only a few budgets for health have been disbursed as if it is the responsibility of the Health Ministry only, while it does not necessarily mean so,” said Minister Sri on Tuesday, June 30.
Previously, Jokowi expressed his frustration about the low budget absorption before cabinet ministers, which was only 1.53 percent of the total Rp75 trillion.
The Finance Minister then detailed the budget allotment. For example, the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was under the national Covid-19 mitigation task force and the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) was tasked to handle hospital claims.
There were also tax incentives given directly to hospitals for medical services. By means, she concluded that the health budget was a joint responsibility.
However, Sri Mulyani was committed to tracking the use of the budget in order to make sure its absorption runs well so that it would generate greater impacts on social and economic recovery.