Indonesia occasionally features on international news when extremist groups or terrorist organizations are involved in violent attacks, especially directed at foreigners, such as in Bali in 2002 or in Jakarta in 2009 and 2016. The Indonesian government is trying to crack down hard on the perpetrators of such crimes, but it is not possible to warrant that this won’t happen 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. Make sure to register with your embassy and to have its emergency contact details ready. This can also prove beneficial 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.
Healthcare in Indonesia may be very different from what you expect. As the public healthcare sector is not always adequate, it is safe to recommend private international health insurance as your best bet. A number of insurance providers have policies that cover countries in Southeast Asia, like Indonesia.
Please always be sure to get a comprehensive medical insurance plan for yourself and all family members 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 that option, too.
The telephone numbers for police and emergency medical help (i.e. ambulance) in Indonesia are 110 and 118/119 respectively.
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 at these clinics speaks some English. Please also be aware that 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 require a prescription in your home country can easily and cheaply be acquired over the counter in Indonesia.
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