Indonesia at a Glance
Indonesia: Safety and HealthcareiStockphoto
Despite massage therapies and traditional remedies offered to tourists, Indonesia's health sector is still developing.
Safety in Indonesia
Indonesia occasionally hits the international news when extremist groups or terrorist organizations are involved in violent attacks, especially directed at foreigners, such as on Bali in 2002 or in Jakarta in 2009. The Indonesian government is trying to crack down hard on the perpetrators of such crimes, but such incidents might occur again.
The only option for foreign residents is to stay vigilant, keep a low profile and follow the news regularly. It is also a good idea to avoid certain regions like Papua or Central Sulawesi, and make sure to register with your embassy and to have its emergency contact details ready in case of a natural disaster due to volcanic activity.
As far as crime rates are concerned, property crime is relatively common in major cities. Use only taxis booked directly from reputable companies, carefully monitor your credit card statements, keep your documents and valuables in a safe place, secure your new home against burglaries and beware of spiked drinks when enjoying the local nightlife.
Health Insurance and Medical Care
Healthcare in Indonesia may be very different from what you expect. As the public healthcare sector is often inadequate, it is safe to recommend a private international health insurance as your best bet. A number of insurance providers have policies that cover countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia.
Please always be sure to get a comprehensive medical insurance plan for yourself and all family members also moving to Indonesia, which covers both illnesses and accidents. Many wealthier Indonesians and expatriates also prefer to go to Singapore for high-quality treatment, so check if the policy covers this country, too. The telephone numbers for police and emergency medical help (i.e. ambulance) in Indonesia are 110 and 118/119 respectively.
Doctors and Hospitals
Allianz Worldwide Care provides a directory of doctors and hospitals whose services their insurance policies cover. You simply need to enter the name of the city you plan on moving to in Indonesia and then you will be given a list of addresses, telephone numbers and names of doctors. Unfortunately, English is not a requirement in hospitals, yet the services offered by most of these clinics should be up to par with Western medical treatment and can be relied on in emergency cases. As mentioned above, traveling to Singapore for treatment is also a viable option.
Most expats in Indonesia go to so-called “group practice medical clinics”, which have a wider range of specialists and offer most routine medical evaluations and care. In addition, most medical staff often speak some English. Please also be aware that regardless of the medical evaluation you have had, you will be required to pay in cash, as few hospitals have access to credit card machines.
It is also common that some medications which may be prescription only in your home country can easily and cheaply be acquired over the counter in Indonesia.