The Global Indonesia Professionals Association (GIPA) held a virtual forum called Global Boardroom Series, attended by the Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Deputy Health Minister dr. Dante Saksono Harbuwono, along with other officials from the Health Ministry on 11th April 2021.
Furthermore, leaders of Indonesian professional association hubs spread across the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore and various other G20 and ASEAN countries attended as well.
“This event is an initiative undertaken by GIPA to connect Indonesian professional community leaders abroad with policymakers in the country. This forum facilitates the exchange of ideas about insights leadership in various industries and sectors in the country,” conveyed the Chairman of GIPA, Steven Marcelino, in his opening speech.
With the Health Ministry’s support, GIPA had the opportunity to raise themes that intersect with current global challenges, namely the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this global challenge, GIPA had previously researched the form of “GIPA Ideas” to accelerate the adaptation process for Indonesian doctors educated abroad to practice in Indonesia.
In his introduction, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin shared his experience starting from pursuing a career as an IT Officer at IBM in Tokyo, Japan to being trusted by President Jokowi to become the Health Minister. During his lifetime, he had experienced three financial crises in 1998, 2008 and 2013. Currently, the crisis that has arisen is due to COVID-19, which requires different handling.
Although the former Vice Minister for State-Owned Enterprises admitted that he doesn’t come from a health background, he believes that his sense of leadership and entrepreneurship plays an important role to understand that the health system in Indonesia doesn’t depend merely on health alone, but also on optimal health system coordination.
Therefore, the minister expressed that now is
“the momentum for Indonesian professionals engaged in the health sector abroad to take a leading position to contribute to the health sector in Indonesia”.
According to research results from “GIPA Ideas” presented by Christy Zakarias as Head of Public Relations and Advocacy of GIPA, as many as 91 percent of Indonesian doctors living abroad said that they are interested in returning to Indonesia. However, only 16 percent of respondents are aware of the adaptation process and its stages to return home.
Various obstacles lie behind the return of Indonesian workers back home, among others is the lack of accessible public information and process delays. This discovery also shows the gap between the total supply of health workers in Indonesia and the numbers needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Health Minister dr. Dante Saksono closed the forum with assurance and openness of the Indonesian government, notably the Health Ministry, to assist Indonesian citizens who work in the health sector abroad wishing to return to Indonesia and contribute to the development of the country’s health system.
“When I was still studying in Japan and the United States, I always felt that my journey didn’t end there. So, don’t ever hesitate to return to Indonesia, we certainly will help the adaptation process to be accelerated,” concluded dr. Dante Saksono.