Healthcare Information for Expats in Indonesia
Indonesia is undoubtedly a great place to live as an expat; however, its healthcare systems can be deficient for foreigners living there. Jakarta is home to some of the best-equipped public medical facilities though, but none of them have global accreditation. On the positive side, the quality of services has improved over the last few years and that’s the reason why most of the top hospitals in the major cities are overcrowded throughout the year.
Indonesian hospitals usually are ranked based on their services and accommodation facilities. Hospital accommodations are also classified into levels that include general admittance wards, shared rooms, and the superior quality VIP rooms. Patients in the VIP rooms can enjoy more privacy and better services in terms of medical care, hygiene, and food. Jakarta also boasts of a few specialist hospitals where you can have access to healthcare facilities that are not easily available in the rest of the country. Don’t forget to check out important health updates at the CDC Indonesia page.
Overview of Healthcare in Indonesia
As an expat or foreigner, you can have easy access to public and specialist hospitals in Indonesia, but you won’t be included in various government healthcare schemes. Visiting a public hospital would mean that you will either have to pay on your own or your international health insurance covers you at a particular medical facility. Don’t expect top quality medical care in every Indonesian city if you need immediate medical care for critical ailments.
Traditionally, the healthcare system in this country consists of two schemes – the private insurance for those who can afford it and basic state healthcare provision for those who are financially poor. The healthcare scenario changed in 2014 when the government launched Jaminan Kesehata Nasional (JKN), which is a compulsory medical insurance scheme offering basic healthcare facilities for all citizens. JKN offers citizens the opportunity to enjoy an array of public healthcare facilities apart from a few services offered by private organizations that have connected to the JKN scheme.
Government-mandated insurance schemes came as a temporary respite for many because of the low premium charges. However, the influx of citizens with serious healthcare issues added to the strain of the nation’s healthcare facilities. Inadequate medical facilities in remote areas are forcing citizens and expats to look for quality healthcare in far off cities.
How the Indonesian Healthcare System Works for Expats
Due to the variable quality of public healthcare in Indonesia, most expats prefer to use private health insurance during their extended stay. Having an international medical insurance plan becomes a must because expats are not included in the Indonesian universal healthcare scheme.
Thankfully, working expats can obtain comprehensive health insurance through their employers. So, if you are moving to this country on an employment project, you should check with your employer to see if the medical policy is sufficient to cover the needs of your family and yours.
Indonesian Public Healthcare
Apart from healthcare facilities around Jakarta, Indonesia has a huge shortage of adequate public healthcare. The waiting time is so long that patients have to wait for weeks to get the desired treatment. As an expat, you can go for health treatments in the local hospitals, but most of the doctors won’t be able to communicate with you in English. The doctors in these public hospitals would also expect you to pay upfront because foreigners are not eligible for the national health insurance scheme.
Private Healthcare for Expats in Indonesia
In spite of being expensive, opting for private medical care would be the best bet because they offer a better quality of services. Going for private healthcare would mean that you have easy access to top-quality amenities that suit your needs. It is also more likely that you would be attended by a well-trained staff who can speak in English.
Medicines and Pharmacies in Indonesia
Known as ‘apotik’, Indonesian pharmacies can be found easily in various parts of the major cities. Big names include Century Healthcare, Guardian and Apotik Melawai, and you can easily get the necessary medications if you have a doctor’s prescription. Over-the-counter medicines are also easily available in pharmacies located in the shopping malls.
Emergency Services When Living in Indonesia
You will have to dial 118 to get emergency medical assistance in this Asian country. However, traffic congestion is a big issue in big cities. You would prefer to take a taxi to the nearby private clinic or hospital instead of waiting for hours for emergency help when you are in a dire situation. Once you reach a nearby medical facility, you can get in touch with your insurance company before you go for any emergency treatment.
Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats in Indonesia
If you are planning to purchase an international health insurance plan during your expatriate life in Indonesia, you should look for an insurance plan which is compliant with the local law. The Allianz International Health Insurance Plan can be a great option for you if you want to enjoy comprehensive health coverage. An insurance plan that you choose to purchase should keep you and your family suitably protected irrespective of the number of years you intend to live in a particular Indonesian destination.