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COVID-19 doctor tells Jokowi about shortage of healthcare workers in video call

first_imgAs the number of new cases keeps mounting, even one of the foremost COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta faces a shortage of medical workers, a pulmonologist told President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in a video call on Sunday.“Insya Allah [God willing], we have enough medical equipment. However, we are short of [medical] workers, while the number of patients keeps rising,” pulmonologist Faisal Rizal Matondang from the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI) said. According to the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Indonesia, home to 271 million people, has only 0.13 specialist doctors per 1,000 people, fewer than half the government’s target of 0.28 per 1,000 people as part of its health reform program. The figure for general practitioners is 0.52 per 1,000 people, fewer than half the ideal target of 1.12.Adding to this shortage is the significant number of medical workers who have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak in the country in March. According to the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), 123 doctors have died from COVID-19 so far.Faisal himself had previously tested positive for COVID-19 but has recently recovered. He said that he was exposed to the virus because he worked closely with COVID-19 patients. “Yesterday I was X-rayed and also took a swab test. I’ve been declared fit for duty. Today is my first day back on the job,” he said. He said that he made sure to spend extra time communicating with COVID-19 patients in a lighthearted way, as many of them experienced boredom and loneliness in isolation.“I try to motivate them to keep thinking positively about getting a negative swab test result,” he said.“I can imagine how hard it is to be on the frontlines of handling COVID-19,” the President responded. Jokowi expressed his gratitude for the work that Faisal and other medical workers had done on the frontlines of the outbreak.“I am very grateful and appreciative for the hard work of the doctors and medical workers who are fighting [COVID-19],” he said. Topics :last_img read more

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Joseph Mariathasan: Trumping the loss of manufacturing in the US

first_imgPerhaps the simplest way is to recognise that countries are unable to generate enough wealth for the population at large to enjoy the lifestyles and public benefits they have come to expect. Deficit financing means paying for current consumption by issuing debt. QE allowed that debt to be issued at low cost. But it has not resolved the problem that economies in developed markets are not producing enough decently paying jobs for populations to enjoy what they perceive are the levels of comfort they are entitled to, and certainly what previous generations have been enjoying.Emerging markets, by contrast, are in a phase where their economies are generally growing fast, existing populations have few if any social security benefits, and many are close to or below the poverty line. The future looks brighter for new generations that can still expect to do better than their parents and grandparents. Wage levels are sufficiently low as to be attractive to outsource manufacturing from developed markets. But even if Trump does put up tariff barriers to bring back manufacturing, countries such as China and India have sufficiently large domestic economies and numbers of consumers that they are perfectly capable of developing their already extensive manufacturing capabilities to supply the growing domestic consumer base.The problem for the developed nations is that being innovative has not been enough to create jobs for the population at large that pay decent wages. Apple may be the most valuable company in the world, but now it employs barely 80,000 direct jobs in the US compared with General Motors which at its height in 1979 employed more than 600,000 in the US. Service industries, rather than manufacturing, are seen as the post-industrial future for developed economies.The problem has been that the employment created has been concentrated at the McDonald’s end of labour rates. Rising inequality has been the characteristic of the US at a time of rising employment. QE has made the owners of capital more wealthy without having any noticeable impact on the creation of decently paying jobs to replace those lost through outsourcing manufacturing. Trump has come in promising that will change, and that is the hope that has driven so many to vote for him. But, unfortunately, for the US and the world at large, it is unclear whether he can change that without tipping the world into trade wars and possibly recession by imposing tariffs.QE caused massive outflows from emerging markets to developed ones, pushing up developed-market stock markets. The US has now seen a Trump-induced rally of its stock markets that has led to all-time highs. But if creating higher-quality jobs requires a greater focus on manufacturing – and if that can only be achieved through protectionist measures – then there is not an easy solution. Perhaps it is time to reconsider the merits of emerging markets.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE Joseph Mariathasan questions the chances of bringing back high-quality jobs by focusing on manufacturingThe world anxiously awaits what a Donald Trump presidency in the US will actually bring beyond the populist, garbled and inconsistent rhetoric that has been the experience so far. His Cabinet appointees are a mega-wealthy collection of businessmen, including many Goldman Sachs alumni, which belies his campaign slogan of “draining the swamp”, referring to the Washington establishment.Fortunately, America’s greatest strengths may lie in the maturity and independence of the many competing sources of power to the White House. They will provide a brake on the exercise of presidential power, as Trump will find when it comes to actually exercising it – and as outgoing president Barack Obama also found to his cost, when it came to enacting legislation.The US still attracts the best in the world to come to study, work, set up businesses and become its citizens. Europe can only look in envy as European countries put up increasingly tough barriers to entry in an environment of economic malaise. Yet there are similar, deeply rooted problems for both Europe and the US that can be looked on in many different ways – an excess of debt, a loss of productivity, etc.last_img read more

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Atletico Madrid president talks up return of Diego Costa

first_imgEnrique Cerezo has refused to rule out the possibility of Diego Costa one day returning to Atletico Madrid as “players go back sometimes”.The President appeared to close the door on the Chelsea striker last month, but he has since changed his stance in the wake of reports linking the player with a move back to the Vicente Calderon and Jackson Martinez heading the opposite way.“After what happened in Lisbon a couple of seasons ago ago, we’ve all set [the Champions League final] as a target to reach,” he told TVE.“Cholo [Simeone] will be here for as long as he wants. I think we have a coach who will manage us for a long time and become a very important part of the club’s history. [Costa] is now a Chelsea player and has to think about Chelsea, but there are things which happen in football and no-one knows why. Players go back sometimes.“[Antoine] Griezmann is enjoying his football here, in front of fans who love and admire him, living in Madrid and everything which comes with playing for Atletico Madrid.”OPINION This is interesting indeed. Taken in isolation, the bland statement that “players go back sometimes” would mean little, but in this context – with Cerezo talking candidly about his club’s plans for the future – it feels far more weighty than it otherwise would.We can also assume a fairly strong relationship between Atletico and Chelsea – as evidenced by Thibaut Courtois’s loan spell, for example – will make this move more likely. All that said, don’t expect anything to happen any time soon: Chelsea are still fighting for their lives, and losing a man who is their most potent goalscorer (once he recovers his form) is hardly the way to boost their hopes.–last_img read more

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