Some 72 years after it proclaimed independence, Indonesia has never had a blue print of national research plan. This was said by Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohamad Nasir in a speech at a gathering of alumni of Brawijaya University’s medical school held at Grand Sahid Jaya hotel in Jakarta.

“Since the country was established, until now led by the administration of President Jokowi, Indonesia has never had a national research map,” said Nasir.

Nasir said the National Research Master Plan (RIRN) for the 2017-2045 period was made to adjust long-term research projects with the national development direction regarding science and technology.

“RIRN has become important because the national development needs planning to integrate various policies, especially to make cooperation among ministries or agencies more efficient and effective,” he said.

Health and pharmacy sector is one of 10 strategic areas prioritized by the government in the RIRN. Nasir said Indonesia’s competitiveness in health sector was still low, which ranked at around 90s. Therefore, the research, technology and higher education ministry has teamed up with the health ministry to set up a joint committee to improve education and research in health sector.

Nasir said higher education and health service together must be provided simultaneously. Education competency in health sector could also meet the demand of practitioners in impoverished regions in Indonesia. Moreover, he said production and distribution of doctors was still a pressing issue in Indonesia. Thus, he said, Brawijaya University’s medical school should pay attention to the quality of its prospective students.

Also presents at the event were member of research ministry’s expert staff on infrastructure Hari Purwanto, Brawijaya University rector Nuhfil Hanani, health ministry’s director for non-communicable disease prevention and control Cut Putri Arianie, Social Security Coordinator Agency (BPJS) head Fahmi Idris and other invited guests.