The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has stated that the current implementation of the national health insurance (JKN) program, which is managed by the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), is not in accordance with Islamic laws.
“The implementation of Indonesia’s health insurance scheme delivered by BPJS Kesehatan is inconsistent with sharia principles, especially the insurance components which are related to agreement among parties. This program contains elements of speculation, gambling and usury,” the MUI said in a document published on its website.
The document details results of the fifth Ijtima’ meeting of Indonesia’s edict commissions, which was held at the At-Tauhidiyyah Islamic boarding school in Central Java from June 7 to 10.
The JKN program was one of the issues, along with radicalism, vaccinations and current laws on pornography, discussed in the forum.
The document explained specific elements of the JKN program in which BPJS Kesehatan applies penalties amounting to 2 percent of the total monthly premium for any late payments of premiums. The MUI highlighted such an imposition as one of the un-Islamic practices carried out by BPJS Kesehatan.
Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia, criticized the MUI, claiming that the council issued edicts easily.
“The MUI issues edicts too easily,” he said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Comparing the council to edict commissions from other countries, Said said that the MUI could issue as many as nine edicts in a year while an edict commission in Egypt announced only two or three every year.
Separately, Vice President Jusuf Kalla called on all parties to await further ulema assessments on the situation.
“I haven’t read it [the document]. Islam is simple. As long as it is not haram, then it is halal. The question is, what part of the BPJS program can be considered haram? That is what we’re trying to assess,” Kalla said as quoted by tempo.co.
The Ijtima’ forum recommended that the government create a minimum standard of healthcare insurance schemes for Indonesians and implement it in a system compatible with sharia principles.