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17 health organizations reject draft bill on tobacco

20th February 2017 | 1.486 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Seventeen health organizations in Indonesia have issued a joint declaration urging President Joko Widodo to reject the draft bill on tobacco.

"To agree deliberation of the draft bill on tobacco means that we have risked human resources in facing global competition," the statement, read by a deputy secretary of the Indonesian Heart Association (Perki) Ario Soeryo Kuncoro said here, Monday.

The joint declaration, delivered at the office of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), would be conveyed to President Joko Widodo to refuse the deliberation of the draft bill.

Head of IDIs drugs assessment committee dr Masfar Salim said, the draft bill that has been submitted by the parliament has sparked concern among health organizations.

"As health organizations we care about this issue. If there is a bill to support consumption of product which is harmful to the health, certainly we will reject it," he said.

Therefore, Masfar has called on other health organizations in the country to join the campaign to reject the draft bill.

The joint statement said that draft bill on tobacco has contradicted the governments goals.

Among the goals are medium-term national development planning 2015-2019 to reduce the prevalence of under 18 years old smokers from 7.2 percent to 5.4 percent and the government commitment to reach sustainable development goals.

The organizations said that the increased production of cigarettes for business interest could not have one same legal umbrella with health security which is aimed at reducing tobacco consumption.

The organizations have supported the governments mission on human resources development which is qualified and competitive.

Among the health organizations joining the statement are IDI, Indonesian Society of Oncology (POI), Indonesian Obstetricians Association (IBI), Indonesian Stroke Foundation (Yastroki), Institute of Mental Health Addiction and Neuroscience (IMAN), Association of Indonesian Lung Doctors (PDPI).

In December 2016, a plenary session at the House of Representatives (DPR) listed the tobacco draft bill into the National Legislative Programs (Prolegnas).

President Joko Widodo had 60 days to approve or reject deliberations on the draft bill.

The Health Ministry has said it refuses to continue deliberations on tobacco draft bill.

Director General of Disease Prevention and Control, Mohamad Subuh said, tobacco tax revenues are not comparable to health care costs incurred by the government to address tobacco problem. (*)