Universal Health Coverage in Indonesia; Finding a Solution to Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan)’s Widening Deficit
At the start of 2014 the government of Indonesia launched its ambitious universal health coverage (UHC) program. This program aims to ensure that all Indonesians (whether rich or poor) have access to health services (of sufficient quality), while also ensuring that the Indonesian people do not suffer financial hardship when paying for these health services. In other words, the program aims to deliver affordable healthcare to all citizens.
Especially in a country like Indonesia, a UHC program is bound to encounter some major challenges. For instance, Indonesia contains a huge population (with around 270 million people). This huge number of people implies that demand for health services is massive - not only in theory but also in practice. This situation brings a range of logistical challenges (for example, in some regions the availability of health services is limited as there are few health centers or hospitals, while the lack of adequate infrastructure development in some parts of the country can lead to a shortage of medicines or medical equipment).
This article discusses:
• The logistical and financial challenges of Indonesia's UHC program.
• Growing mismatch between claims paid and premiums received. What explains this rising deficit? What are the solutions?
• The government's decision to significantly raise the price of the monthly premium, and the possible consequences of this 'price shock'.
• Do expats need to join the UHC program?
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