Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 24,538 confirmed infections, 1,496 deaths (28 May 2020)
29 May 2020 (closed)
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Although Indonesia’s healthcare industry has grown in terms of size and access in recent years, concern persists about the quality and capacity of Indonesia’s healthcare industry. Hence, those Indonesians who have enough money at their disposal (or expats residing in Indonesia) often prefer to travel to a hospital in Singapore or Malaysia when they need a medical checkup or treatment.
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
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