Healthcare in Indonesia

Healthcare in Indonesia
Whether you come from an American like system of high quality private health care or the Canadian and European public health model you will find the Health care system in Indonesia very different from what you are used to.


Having worked for a number of years in Indonesia providing health insurance for expats I have some unique local knowledge based on firsthand experience as well as problems I have seen my clients deal with.

I hope that you will find this guide informative and that your stay is a happy and healthy one. But if you fall ill or are injured this guide should help you avoid a lot of misery and may even save your life.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Health Insurance.

If you find yourself needing treatment for a serious illness or injury you will need adequate health insurance. Be sure that your policy allows for Emergency Medical Evacuation. You do not want to bet you or your family’s life on the vagaries of local health care providers.

When you purchase your cover make sure it is from a reputable Financial Adviser or Insurance Broker who has specific local knowledge about which insurance companies will be more likely to evacuate you to somewhere you can receive adequate medical treatment. If you purchase Medical Insurance in your home country your adviser is unlikely to know this.

If It's an Emergency Don't Wait For An Ambulance.

Anyone who has driven for sometime in Indonesia will notice that local people do not make way for ambulances even if they are using their lights and sirens.

In Indonesia ambulances are primarily for transporting dead people, so unless you are already dead, you would be better off making your way on your own to the nearest hospital rather than waiting for an ambulance.

The so called "Golden Hour" that emergency medical people talk about would be better spent in a clinic or hospital rather than in an ambulance stuck in a traffic jam.

Just Because The Doctor Has A Diploma Does Not Mean He Is Competent.

Like many other facets of Indonesian life, the education system is rife with corrupt practices. Many people have been granted advanced degrees based more on the kind of bribes they where willing to pay and not their exam results. While there are a number of very competent local doctors there are also a number very dangerous quacks practicing medicine.

You need to be sure that the Doctor who is treating you or your family knows what he is doing. The only way to ensure this is by always seeking treatment at a reputable institution that makes sure its staff are competent. At the bottom of this Guide you will find a list of the Health Care providers I would recommend.

Treatment Quality Depends on The Cost.

Health Care quality does not just vary from Hospital to Hospital, but also varies by the class of treatment sought. It ranges from category 3 in which the staff will change IV's and administer basic medicine, but not change sheets or assist patients to the toilet all the way to VVIP where your surroundings and service will be more akin to a five star hotel than what you would expect in a Hospital. So it is important to make sure that your Insurance will provide the level of cover you would expect.

Be Careful About Complaining About Poor Treatment.

In a recent highly publicized case a patient is being tried for Defamation because she complained that the Hospital Staff where incompetent and her illness was misdiagnosed. It is far better to make sure you only deal with competent Medical Providers rather than deal with the health and legal ramifications of dealing with some of the less reputable institutions.


It is important that you have adequate Medical Insurance, the only people who have the unique local knowledge about which Health Insurance plan among the hundreds available will meet your needs and expectation are local Financial Advisers and Insurance Brokers. Make sure that your policy will cover Emergency Medical Evacuation, if it doesn't it may cost you or a family member their life.