Indonesian Health Care
Indonesia is a developing nation which, despite the large gains made in the economy, still has some major concerns in terms of the social services that are provided to Indonesian citizens. In major cities, such as Jakarta, healthcare services are readily available, and usually of an extremely high standard, however, this is not true everywhere in the country. The Indonesian healthcare system is complex and hugely varied, and on first glance, seems to be a mess. Since 1968 access to healthcare services around the country has improved, and most Indonesians are able to receive some form of care or treatment in the event of an emergency. In truth however, this care is often lacking in the quality and depth of the treatment options, and most medical facilities outside of major tourist destinations and urban centers will not be able to afford patients with comprehensive care.
Healthcare in Indonesia is provided, and funded, through a number of channels; Public, Private, Individual payment, Social security, and external/overseas funding. Traditionally, the system closely mirrored the conventional Dutch style of healthcare provision, a more minimalist approach than is familiar to many European cultures. As Indonesia attempted to revitalize its image during the 1970's and 1980's, the country failed to modernize the way in which it provided healthcare to its citizens, one of the reasons that until 1990 the average Indonesian life expectancy was only 52.75 years. Life expectancy has gone up, and even though there has been dramatic improvement in this area, it does not reflect the inequality in the Indonesian healthcare system.
One of the major problems with healthcare in Indonesia is that poor or rural citizens simply aren't able to obtain the healthcare that they need. A lack of government funding, coupled with a need for the medical facilities to realize a profit, no matter how slight, means that lower class Indonesians are unable to afford the cost of treatment. This is not to say that healthcare in Indonesia is expensive, compared to the healthcare services in other Asian and European countries, it’s not; however, to the local populace quality healthcare is virtually unobtainable.
The Indonesian government has realized that this is a major obstacle in the development goals of the nation, and due to this has implemented their ‘Healthy Indonesia 2010’ policy. This policy has had the effect of forcing the Indonesian ministry of Health and Social Welfare to create relationships with other sectors of the government, as well as reassess the healthcare goals of the nation. It is due to this ‘Healthy Indonesia 2010’ policy that the country has seen major development in the healthcare system, a process that is still ongoing. One of the major breakthroughs in this policy was the decentralization of healthcare provision. This allowed different provinces, districts and sub districts to have greater autonomy in the way that they provided healthcare, and it is due to this that standards and availability of care have been getting better.
While the healthcare provisions for the local Indonesian populace have been getting better, the standards of care in the country, outside of the best hospitals and clinics, may not be sufficient for many newly arrived expatriates; and while treatment costs at these facilities may be less than many foreign nationals are used to, they are by no means cheap. The only way for foreign nationals in Indonesia to avoid the confusion inherent in the nation’s healthcare system and to ensure that they always receive the treatment that they deserve is with a quality health insurance plan.
Indonesia is a rapidly developing country in South-East Asia. With over 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, the country is one of the most dispersed nations on earth. In addition to this the nation has a rich and vibrant history dating back to the dawn of history, and today Indonesia is one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations.
To help you understand more about Indonesia we have provided some general information about the country below. Please be advised that the information provided herein is meant for reference purposes only and may be liable to change without prior warning.
Official Name: The Republic of Indonesia, or simply Indonesia, formerly called the Dutch East Indies.
Capital: The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta, located on Java island bordering the Java Sea. Jakarta is currently the ninth most densely populated city in the world with more than 23 million people living in the metropolitan area.
Location: Indonesia is located in South-East Asia and shares land borders with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor. Australia, Singapore and the Philippines are all within close distance of the country and located around the archipelago. Indonesia has water borders with the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, Philippine Sea, North Pacific Ocean, and the Australian Sea, making the nation a focal point of international maritime routes.
Size: Indonesia occupies a total area of 1,919,440 square kilometers, in comparative terms this makes the country roughly the same size as Mexico and slightly larger than Libya. Indonesia is the 24th largest country in the world.
Climate: The archipelago of Indonesia is located in the tropics, as such the country’s climate tends to be tropical. However, the climate in the more inland and mountainous areas can be more moderate than along the coast. The dry season in Indonesia runs from May to October, at other times the country is prone to heavy rainfall and a higher than average number of typhoons. Flooding can be a major concern, especially in low lying costal areas during the monsoon season.
Population: With a total approximate population of 234,693,000 Indonesia has the 6th largest population in the world, directly behind the USA.
Life expectancy at birth: The Indonesian life expectancy is 70.16 years at birth. This means that Indonesia has the 135th highest life expectancy in the world. Men are only expected to live an average of 67.69 years, well below the global average.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS: Approximately 0.1% of the Indonesian population is living with HIV/Aids, this is equal to an estimated 230,000 people.
Major illnesses: As Indonesia is still a developing nation there are a number of major health threats in the country, including; Hepatitis A, B, C, E, Typhoid Fever, Dengue Fever, Malaria, and bacterial Diarrhea.
Ethnic Groups: Due to Indonesia’s unique position in South East Asia and the nation’s history as a major trading destination, it comes as no surprise that there are a number of different ethnicities evident in modern day Indonesian society. These are; Javanese, Sudanese, Madurese, Minangkabu, Betawi, Bugis, Banten, and Banjar.
Languages: The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, a modified form of Malay. English and Dutch are widely spoken throughout the country as is the local dialect of Javanese.
Religion: 86.1% of the Indonesian population is practicing Muslims; this makes Indonesia the largest Muslim country in the world, despite the fact that there is no official state religion. 5.7% of the population is Protestant, 3% are Catholics, and 1.8% is Hindu.
Government: Indonesia is a republic. A republic is a type of government that is not lead by a monarch and one where the population of the state have a direct impact on how the country is run. In Indonesia this impact takes the form of elections, where the populace of the country votes for their political representatives. It is then the elected official’s responsibility to impose the legislation that the people have asked for and run the nation responsibly.
Head of State: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is both the head of the Indonesian state and Government. In Indonesia the president holds all executive power. The Indonesian second in command is Vice-President Muhammad Yusuf Kalla. The maximum term that can be served by any president is two consecutive 5 year terms.
Military: Indonesia has an extremely large military comprised of an army, navy, airforce, and reserve force. There is a mandatory conscription at the age of 18 for all Indonesian males, and the conscription length is 2 years. Indonesian males must participate in the reserve forces until the age of 45. Currently Indonesia spends approximately 3% of the nations total GDP on the armed forces.
Economy: Since 1968, when former president Suharto came to power, Indonesia has been experiencing significant economic reforms; reforms that are still continuing under the present administration run by President Yudhoyono. Indonesian foreign debt has steadily been decreasing and in 2007 the Indonesian stock market was the third best performer in the world. Reforms in tax laws, investment tariffs and more transparency in the stock market have all contributed to Indonesia seeing some of the largest amounts of foreign investment in the nation’s history. However, there are still some major issues facing the Indonesian economy, including high levels of government corruption, large unemployment, inadequate infrastructure and unequal resource distribution have all contributed to a slowdown in the Indonesian economy.
GDP: The Indonesian purchasing power parity is US$ 845.6 billion while the actual GDP is US$ 287.4 billion. Indonesia has the 15th highest GDP in the world.
Indonesia Travel Tips
Indonesia is one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations with millions of visitors arriving in the country each year from all over the world. When traveling in a new country it is important to understand, and be aware of, any local laws and customs that may be different from the ones that you are used to. To help you better enjoy your time in Indonesia we have provided some information about various local laws and customs that you should be aware of during your time in the country.
Please be advised that the information below is not comprehensive and that the status of this information may change without warning. For the most up to date travel advice please contact a professional prior to departing on your trip.
Indonesia is a predominately Muslim country; as such many of the local laws and customs will reflect this. When visiting religious areas such as mosques and temples you should act with respect.
Do not get involved with illegal drugs during your time in Indonesia. Possession, distribution and manufacture of narcotic substances are illegal, and if caught you could face a lengthy prison sentence.
Do not gamble while in Indonesia. Gambling is illegal throughout the country, and is usually controlled by organized crime syndicates.
You must carry some form of identification on your person at all times. If asked by the Indonesian police you must display identification, failure to do so can result in a fine or custodial jail time. Photocopied passports are acceptable as a valid form of identification.
Most nationalities must have a visa to enter Indonesia. Visa’s are typically available on arrival, but will be time specific. If you plan on staying in the country for a period longer than three months you should obtain a work or residence permit before your arrival.
Healthcare in Indonesia, outside of the major urban centers, tends to be extremely poor in the quality of care that is available. It is recommended that you obtain travel insurance with an emergency evacuation benefit before visiting the country.
There are a number of disease risks throughout the country including Malaria, Dengue fever, Anthrax, and hepatitis. These diseases are spread through a number of factors, however their prevalence in the country can primarily be attributed to poor hygiene. Avoid eating foods from roadside stalls and make sure that all your drinks are sealed when brought to you.
There have been reports of polio outbreaks in Java and Sumatra. It is advisable that you obtain a polio vaccine before visiting these areas.
Due to Indonesia’s location in South-East Asia on the continental shelf the country is prone to a number of natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. In the event of a natural disaster please follow all government directions and act accordingly.