Improving the Mental and Physical Health of Employees is Key to Supporting a Company’s Performance in the New Normal Era
Traditional workplace culture has undergone major changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has accelerated the use of digital technology to work remotely while staying connected to colleagues. Many human resources (HR) divisions have also had to adjust and adapt their workplace policies to suit the future of work arrangements. On one hand, they must ensure the sustainability of the company and on the other hand ensure the safety and health maintenance of employees who are working remotely. According to PWC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021, 80% of corporate leaders worldwide say their organizations recognise the importance of caring for the well-being of their employees, both physically and mentally during the pandemic. In Indonesia the Minister of Manpower (Menaker), Ida Fauziyah, assessed that Human Resource Management (HRM) has a very important role in supporting the government in advancing Indonesian Human Resources (HR) standards. She added, “Employee health is the main key for business continuity during a pandemic. Companies, especially the HR division, are expected to be able to mitigate risks and ensure the safety and welfare of employees in their companies,” when delivering her keynote speech at the Corporate Rating Award Human Capital on Resilience Award 2021.
One form of employee benefits provided by the company is through health insurance coverage. The changes that have occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic inevitably changed the health insurance system as we know it. Major insurance providers such as Great Eastern Life Indonesia (GELI) have increasingly tapped on digital technologies to enhance their service offerings in the new normal era. Speaking at the recent New Normal Era Insurance Services webinar organised by GELI, R. Wiena Cahyaningsih, GELI’s Head of Broker & Affinity Sales shared, “This past year, GELI has launched very attractive digital products to meet customers’ needs for top up and protection of all customers. In addition, GELI has developed digital technology to help our customers from Great Eastern Corporate by creating employee benefit applications.” Speaking at the same webinar, Alfi Yani, Head of Customer Experience & Digital GELI said, “Based on the most frequently asked questions and the most frequent transactions made by customers, we conducted an analysis to present a solution in the form of Great Eastern Corporate.” Transactions in the form of Claim Submission, Claim Cashless in Hospital, Excess Payment, Premium Billing, Reports, and Member Alteration have been provided by GELI online for their customers. “All information is provided transparently and can be viewed whenever needed. There is no need for employees to call HR or HR to call the insurance company, saving time. HR and employees can focus on doing their jobs,” added Alfi Yani.
To optimize outpatient benefits, GELI collaborates with PT Good Doctor Technology Indonesia (Good Doctor) to further enhance and improve the user experience by ensuring it is seamless and hassle-free. Danu Wicaksana, Managing Director of Good Doctor Technology Indonesia who was speaking at the same event, shared that the digital-first health technology company prioritizes service quality and response speed. “Good Doctor has more than 50 full-time doctors, so whenever GELI customers want to consult, there are always doctors ready to serve. In fact, for B2B cooperation like this, Good Doctor provides priority doctors. That is, the doctor who serves is the doctor of choice, will not be replaced randomly when the patient wants to consult again. In addition, Good Doctor operates like a hospital. After recommending the drug to the patient, three days later, the doctor will contact the patient to find out the patient’s progress. If there is no progress, the doctor will conduct a follow-up consultation. We call it push care management. Thus, the services we provide are end-to-end.”
“We are proud to serve GELI policy holders by providing seamless digital health services such as our cashless with real time benefit deduction feature that supports both the end users and the HR representatives of GELI’s clients. Made possible by our existing partnership with AdMedika, and our digital-first approach to managing healthcare in Indonesia, we are not only providing timely healthcare services to more who require it during their greatest time of need but also playing our part in ensuring that healthcare finances and payments are well managed electronically,” added Danu.
In the spirit of championing digital-first healthcare innovations to increase accessibility and affordability of timely medical services to Indonesians, Good Doctor also recently announced their collaboration with MNC Life Group and AdMedika, to provide MNC Life customers with access to their digital health services such as telemedicine. Speaking at the launch event, Febriyani Sjofjan Yahya, Director of MNC Life, said, “Pandemics like the current one, make people tend to choose a safe way to get health services without worrying about the risk of transmitting COVID-19 when in hospital. Seeing conditions like this, MNC Life innovates in collaboration with AdMedika and Good Doctor through teleconsultation services, especially for MNC Customers who join MNC Sehat products.”
Danu Wicaksana, Managing Director of Good Doctor Technology Indonesia added, “Good Doctor is proud to be able to provide teleconsultation and drug redemption services for MNC Life customers, where customers can access our services with general practitioners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and also with our specialist doctors from 26 different departments.” Danu added, “The teleconsultation and drug redemption services from Good Doctor are expected to provide more comfort and security for MNC Life customers, especially during the pandemic and towards this new normal.”
With this collaborations, more and more people can enjoy quality digital health services. This also proves that whatever the conditions, we believe we can maintain health and support the company’s performance to be more productive.
Pre and Post COVID-19 Vaccination Best Practices to Stay Healthy and Well
Vaccination is one way to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19. The more people get vaccinated, the faster the country will recover. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia is experiencing a sloping trend, the actual vaccination coverage is not yet maximized. Data as of October 12, 2021 from the Indonesian Ministry of Health shows that the number of Indonesians who received the 1st dose of vaccine only reached 48.6% and 28.04% for the 2nd dose of vaccine. This percentage has not yet reached the percentage required to form herd immunity. The Emerging Infections website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia states that “Depending on how contagious an infection is, usually 70% to 90% of the population requires immunity to achieve herd immunity.”
Still on the same website it is stated that “Herd immunity is when a large part of the population is immune to certain infectious diseases so as to provide indirect protection or group immunity for those who are not immune to these infectious diseases. For example, if 80% of the population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who meet someone with the disease will not get sick and will not spread the virus any further. In this way, the spread of the disease can be controlled.” Therefore, various efforts continue to be made to optimize vaccination coverage so that all people are protected from COVID-19.
Regulatory Changes for COVID-19 Survivors
In the #GoodTalkSeries IG Live event in collaboration with Good Doctor and the Serviam Vaccination Center, Thursday 14 October 2021, dr. Jeffri Aloys Gunawan, Sp.PD, from Good Doctor, stated, “For survivors, there has been a change in regulations.” The regulation changes are contained in the Circular Letter of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control dated September 29, 2021 regarding COVID-19 Vaccination for Survivors, with the following provisions:
- Survivors with mild to moderate disease severity, vaccinations are given at a minimum interval of 1 (one) month after being declared cured.
- Survivors with severe disease severity, vaccinations are given at a minimum interval of 3 (three) months after being declared cured.
- The type of vaccine given to survivors is adjusted to the available vaccine logistics.
If after the first vaccine, you get COVID-19, after recovering, immediately continue the second dose. No need to repeat. “Don’t think you don’t need a second dose because you can already get a ‘second dose of vaccine’ when you get COVID-19. There are studies showing that the immunity that comes from natural infection is not the same as that that comes from vaccination. The study states that the immunity formed is better than the vaccine, because in the vaccine there is a special adjuvant (additive), which makes the immune effect much better than natural infection. Even though you have been exposed to the Delta variant, you still have to be vaccinated. Especially if the new one gets 1 dose,“ said dr. Jeff.
“For the choice of vaccine, whatever is available,” said dr. Jeff. Reporting from good doctor.co.id, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend one vaccine over another. For this reason, it is not recommended to wait for a particular brand because each vaccine has a different effectiveness according to the requirements of the clinical trial.
There was indeed news about breast enlargement due to the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination. Reporting from good doctor.co.id, the mRNA (messenger-RNA) vaccine sends a genetic code to instruct cells to replicate protein spikes on the surface of the virus. This will activate the immune system for protection. Lymph nodes have B cells that use that information to produce antibodies in response to a foreign substance, in this case a virus. Increased antibody levels can trigger a buildup to make the lymph nodes enlarged. This is what makes breasts feel bigger after mRNA vaccinations such as Pfizer. Even so, this should not be a concern, because it is a normal mechanism.
There is another linking the effectiveness of the vaccine with Adverse event following immunizations (AEFI). The heavier the AEFI, the more effective the vaccine. In the same event, Prof. Dr. dr. Rini Sekartini SpA(K), Professor of Pediatrics, FKUI, emphasized, “There is no relationship between AEFI and vaccine effectiveness. Absolutely no relationship. Each vaccine has an AEFI, from mild to severe, while the effectiveness is not only from the vaccine, but also from the person. People with poor nutrition if vaccinated, the antibodies formed will be different from people with good nutrition, high antibodies. For vaccines, the first thing to assess is safety, the AEFI is as low as possible; second, effectiveness. Both are rated, but the ratings are different. So, it is not true that the AEFI is heavy, the vaccine is better than the vaccine with not many AEFIs. Both AEFI and effectiveness are in the vaccine, but they are not related.”
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers
In addition to protecting themselves, as the closest person in the child’s life, pregnant and lactating mothers must be vaccinated to protect children who cannot be vaccinated.
“According to studies, pregnant women who get COVID-19 have an increased risk of death by up to 70%. So get vaccinated immediately. The requirement, at least 13 weeks of pregnancy. COVID-19 vaccination should not be carried out in the 1st trimester of pregnancy,” said dr. Jeff. For now, there are only 3 types of vaccines for pregnant women approved in Indonesia, namely Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinovac. It is hoped that more vaccines will be approved for pregnant women, so that they have more options.
Doctor Jeff said, for breastfeeding mothers, is more flexible. Can use existing vaccines in Indonesia. There are still many who are afraid, later there will be components of the vaccine that enter breast milk and then be swallowed by the baby. This is not true. From research, it is not proven that this is the case. The only thing that enters the baby through breast milk is the antibodies that are formed from the vaccine in the mother. So mothers need not be afraid, can breastfeed as usual. It is much better to be vaccinated than not to be vaccinated.
Mutual Cooperation Vaccine
Another thing that can accelerate more people getting vaccinated is the grant of vaccines such as those carried out by AXA Mandiri and AXA to the people of Denpasar City in September 2021 and Semarang in mid-October. The COVID-19 Gotong Royong vaccine grant is a CSR activity of the company in collaboration with Good Doctor and was enthusiastically and positively welcomed by the Semarang City Government and the local Health Office.
“Vaccination provides peace of mind to the people when they’re doing their activities or work, and we appreciate AXA Mandiri and AXA for facilitating this and taking care of the health of Semarang people through this CSR initiative,” said Mayor of Semarang Hendrar Prihadi.
At the same event, Danu Wicaksana, Managing Director of Good Doctor Technology Indonesia said, “We are proud to support AXA Mandiri Financial Services and AXA in Indonesia in the fight against the COVID-19 through Vaksin Gotong Royong (VGR)/ Mutual Cooperation Vaccine Programme for their employees as well as for their CSR for Semarang city. It is great to be part of their journey while at the same time, we are also committed to rendering our digital healthcare solutions to AXA’s customers.”
Still Unsure About Whether to Get Vaccinated or Which Vaccine to Take?
Vaccine choices are getting more diverse because more and more vaccines are getting approval from BPOM. It is also easier to obtain it by holding various mass vaccination centers that utilize digital technology to make it easier for vaccination participants to register and screen tests—as Good Doctor Technology Indonesia has done in collaboration with various parties. Now, it’s just a matter of self-will to be vaccinated. If you are still reluctant to get vaccinated because you are afraid of needles (trypanophobia) or because of concerns about the side effects of vaccines, here are 5 tips you can do, reported by good doctor.co.id:
- Find as much information as possible
- Prepare mentally
- Share your worries with someone you trust
- Divert attention
- Remember, the benefits of vaccines are greater.
Steps to take after getting vaccinated:
There are 6 recommendations from UNICEF quoted from gooddoctor.co.id:
- Keep the body hydrated
- Eat a balanced nutritious diet
- Continue to apply health protocols
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours
- Keep track of your health with your doctor
- Start preparing your health for the second dose.
Even if you have been vaccinated with two doses, you still have to adhere to health protocols such as wearing a mask, keeping a distance, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands frequently because there is no vaccine that has a 100 percent success rate. We may be able to catch COVID-19 even after vaccination, but the chances of infection will be much lighter if we have been vaccinated.
After vaccinating both the first and second doses, we will get a vaccine certificate. This certificate is very important because it is a requirement for travel or access to public facilities, such as malls. Therefore, please download the PeduliLindungi application, where users can also get connected with a Good Doctor to consult with as needed.
Take Better Care of Your Mental Health to Increase Your Immunity and Protect the Heart
We have implemented health protocols and vaccinations to protect against COVID-19. But what about our mental health? Did you know that mental health affects our immune system and can also affect your heart health?
“Viruses—including the Corona virus—need a place to live,” said Dr. dr. I Gusti Putu Suka Aryana, SpPD-KGer, internal medicine doctor and geriatric consultant at Sanglah Hospital, Bali in a LSPR x Good Doctor health talk webinar themed “Tips for Healthy Living Before and After Vaccination”. He continued, “We make ourselves the place where they live. Viruses enter the body, multiply, and spread to other people. If everyone protected themselves from getting the virus, the virus couldn’t grow, couldn’t live, it would disappear by itself.”
Speaking at the #goodhealthgoodknowledge webinar, the specialist in internal medicine of Good Doctor stated that it is very easy to kill viruses when they are outside of our bodies, for example, when the viruses are on our hands. He further explained that the COVID-19 virus has an outer layer in the form of a layer of fat that will die when exposed to soap. However, if the virus enters our body, it is difficult to combat. Therefore, we should continue being diligent in protecting ourselves so that the virus does not enter the body, even after getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 virus is highly transmittable and typically enters the body through the respiratory tract, mouth, nose, and eye mucosa. In addition, it is also highly advisable to increase one’s immunity so that when the virus enters the body, the body is strong enough to fight back against it.
Dr. I Gusti Putu Suka Aryana provides tips to increase one’s immunity by:
- Think positive, be grateful, don’t stress yourself out, maintain social relationships so that we can enjoy our lives,
- Eat a variety of balanced nutrition,
- Exercise according to health conditions.
While its common knowledge to care for one’s immunity by taking the above steps, Dr. I Gusti Putu Suka Aryana acknowledges that it is not easy to put them into practice especially with increased work or study from home arrangements which can be highly stressful. In fact, stress can actually destroy our immune system from within. Dr. I Gusti Putu Suka Aryana shared, “Most of the worsening of COVID patients in hospitals is due to stress, panic and high level of anxiety so that their immunity is much decreased. As a result, the virus will be able to defeat the immune system and win the battle in the patient’s body. Therefore, we must be able to relax, we must be able to manage stress well.”
Even if our immune system is good, we still have to be vaccinated against COVID-19. “Vaccination is one of the efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination is also the answer to eliminating a disease from the face of this earth. No one is safe until everyone is safe,” added Dr. I Gusti Putu in a webinar in collaboration with Good Doctor with LSPR Communication & Business Institute.
Even if you’ve been vaccinated, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to follow all the health protocols advised by local health authorities. “Both before and after being vaccinated and during this pandemic, we must continue to implement health protocols in a disciplined manner and increase immunity with positive thoughts, balanced diverse nutrition, and exercise.”
Apart from discussing the importance of taking care of one’s immunity by managing stress levels, Dr. I Gusti Putu also shared three tips on caring for one’s heart health. Heart attacks that have been considered a disease of the elderly, which usually occur in their 50s and 60s and above, can actually attack young people. Echoing the importance of heart health management, in the Good Talk Series themed “Alert, Heart Attack Regardless of Age!”, dr. Siska Suridanda Danny, Cardiologist and Blood Vessel Specialist, said, “The term for a heart attack at a young age is if it occurs at the age of 40 and under. This condition is becoming more and more common lately. The average age of Indonesians to have a heart attack is 8—10 years younger than the American and European populations. On average, Americans and Europeans have a heart attack in their 60s, which is 63 years for men and 68 years for women, while the average Indonesian person has a heart attack is 53—58 years.”
Doctor Siska Suridanda Danny, Indonesian Heart Foundation Medical Officer, in the Good Talk Series, a collaboration online public seminar between Good Doctor and the Indonesian Heart Foundation mentioned that the cause of heart attacks is the interaction of various factors, namely genetic factors that cannot be changed and risk factors that can be changed. Risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity/overweight, unbalanced cholesterol levels, and smoking. “In young men (late 20s or early 30s) often no risk factors are found, except smoking, whereas strong risk factors in young women are autoimmune and very unbalanced blood cholesterol and lipid levels,” she said.
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that people who have high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase their risk of heart disease. Doctor Siska emphasized, “One of the major contributors to cardiovascular death is high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is a silent killer, a disease without symptoms, unless it causes complications. Therefore, there is no other way to diagnose hypertension other than checking blood pressure. We must check our health at a younger age considering the average age of Indonesians to have a heart attack is younger than the American and European populations. Recommendations in America and Europe are heart check-ups done once a year for people aged 40 years and over. It means, we have to be even younger to detect early signs of disease.”
She further explained that the heart attack occurred because there was a total blockage in one of the coronary arteries, namely the blood vessels that feed the heart muscles. Total blockage that causes some of the heart muscle can’t get oxygen, do not get food at all. Severe chest pain that is felt is an alarm from the heart muscle asking for “help”.
Severe chest pain is the most common sign of a heart attack. “The worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life, like being hit by an elephant or a cupboard. Sometimes accompanied by cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, sudden shortness of breath, and dark vision. If within 12 hours of the chest pain occurring, you come to the hospital for help, the heart muscle affected by a heart attack can recover. However, after 12 hours, the heart muscle usually has permanently damaged. The heart and nerves are different from bone tissue which has the ability to repair itself. If the heart is damaged by a heart attack or the nerves if it is damaged by a stroke, it cannot repair itself anymore. Therefore, prevention is the best way when it comes to strokes and heart attacks.”
Prevention is lifestyle changes. “Lifestyle changes are number 1 for non-communicable diseases, one of which is high blood pressure and heart disease. The components of lifestyle changes in general are quitting smoking, eating a nutritious and varied diet, and exercising. God’s medicine for all non-communicable diseases is exercise.”
Doctor Siska recommends that people over the age of 40 with hypertension or a history of heart attacks avoid competitive sports, models who want to win such as tennis, basketball, and futsal because the sports are not that heavy, but feelings of wanting to win, emotions or being upset can increase many times the adrenaline which has the potential to burden the heart. Sports that are clearly safe are walking, swimming, and cycling. The intensity is adjusted to each individual’s ability. Do exercise 3—5 times per week with a duration of 30 minutes each exercise because the heart needs time to benefit from the exercise we do. We should do the exercise we really want to do, not just physical activity at home or walking to work. This intentional exercise will release endorphins that are different from ordinary physical activity which releases adrenaline and dopamine.
Increased endorphins will reduce depression. Reporting from gooddoctor.co.id, although it is a mental disorder, depression also affects heart health. Where depression releases stress hormones and increases chemicals that cause narrowing of the arteries. Depression also has an impact on lifestyle, such as diet. Eating unhealthy foods can worsen health conditions, especially if you don’t exercise.
In addition to mental health, COVID-19 also affects heart health. “The virus that previously attacked the lungs, can directly attack the heart or can trigger a heart attack due to a systemic infection or severe infection,” explained dr. Siska. In other words, getting COVID-19 can trigger heart problems that weren’t there before or exacerbate pre-existing heart problems.
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