The health system of Indonesia is fragile, both in terms of quality and quantity. According to data from Indonesia’s Health Ministry, the country had a total of 321,544 hospital beds per January 2020. Considering Indonesia is home to about 270 million people, it roughly equals 12 beds per 10,000 people. This is an alarming ratio. For comparison, South Korea has 115 beds per 10,000 people (data from the World Health Organization, WHO).

These numbers illustrate that Indonesia’s health system is already under massive stress, even without the arrival of a new virus: Indonesia has a significant shortage of hospital beds, medical staff, and intensive care facilities. However, the novel coronavirus (or COVID-19) can make matters much worse because when there occurs a sudden and drastic jump in demand for medical services, there are simply no solutions. And with more and more national boundaries being temporarily closed, while various sorts of travel restrictions have been put in place, it has become very difficult to flee to a hospital in another country or another town.


This article discusses the following:

• What makes Indonesia's health system weak compared to some of its regional counterparts (in terms of quality and quantity/capacity).

• Why is Indonesia particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak?

• The growing health market of Indonesia

This article is part of the March 2020 update. To purchase the report, please send an email to or a WA text message to +62(0)8788.410.6944 for further information.

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