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Indonesia to Explore Medical Tourism Potential

Indonesia’s Tourism and Health ministries will team up to fulfil a promising role in the field of international medical tourism.

“The development of medical tourism in Indonesia has a big potential considering the location and Indonesia’s advantages for medical tourism,” said Tourism Ministry Secretary Ukus Kuswara, as quoted by The Jakarta Post.

He noted that Indonesians have always travelled to other countries for medical procedures; around 350,000 Indonesians are currently undergoing medical treatment overseas. In 2006, a total of US$500 million was spent overseas. Meanwhile, countries like Thailand have been very successful in this sector with over US$3 billion in revenue in 2011.

Indonesia’s potential can be achieved through similar success by enhancing the existing medical infrastructure in some of its more popular tourist destinations, such as Bali.

“The success of Bali in being the best spa destination in the world is not yet supported by scientific principles in Indonesia and not yet patented internationally. Traditional health treatments need to be preserved and supported scientifically in order to become sustainable and able to compete globally,” said Health Ministry Secretary-General Untung Suseno Sutarjo.

The medical tourism cooperation between the Tourism Ministry and the Health Ministry is part of a wider partnership agreement signed by the two ministries in the Tourism National Coordination Meeting III on September 26-27.

The partnership involves policy and program coordination and harmonization, medical tourism improvements, development, education for locals who live around medical tourist destinations, information and data exchange.

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