Editorial: Competency Is Key In Minister Selection
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will announce the appointment of several key ministers today, and his choices will make a critical difference to the state of the nation going forward.
The president will announce a new health minister and a new deputy minister for energy and mineral resources, as well as the new chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). Several names have been bandied around to fill the posts, but certain criteria must be met.
These are critical posts, and we hope that professional, competent individuals who are committed to improving the nation are chosen. This is vital as ministers and top government leaders make a huge difference in ensuring long-term progress.
The health sector in particular needs strong leadership and bold thinking. A fast-growing middle class demands higher-quality medical care, but there is an acute shortage of qualified medical professionals. The country desperately needs more nurses, doctors and other medical professionals, but we are not producing them.
This mean the new health minister must try to establish more nursing academies. He or she must also consider training more doctors in Indonesia while allowing foreign doctors to practice here for limited periods of time.
A more professional and modern health-care industry will ensure that our population stays productive. It will also mean the country can retain the billions of dollars that are spent by Indonesians seeking medical attention abroad each year. This money can help drive the local medical sector.
Managing a bureaucracy is never easy, and the people chosen to fill the vacant posts will face many challenges. We are confident that the president will make the right decision in appointing individuals who can and will make a meaningful difference to the country.