From left, James Riady, the deputy chairman of health and education at the Indonesian Chamber and Commerce and Industry, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Whisnutama and Caroline Riady, deputy president director of Siloam Hospitals International at the event on Tuesday. (B1 Photo)

Medical Tourism a New Target for Gov't

NOVEMBER 19, 2019

Jakarta. The Indonesian government launched a health tourism catalog and a fitness travel book on Tuesday as part of a new effort to target the health tourism market. 

The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry and the Health Ministry have been working on the health tourism concept since 2017.

The government has set its eyes on a piece of the medical travel market that is expected to be worth $143 billion globally in 2025, according to a study by Lyon-based research firm Reportlinker. 

"We will not carelessly promote these health tour packages. We already know our target market. These are for people who care about their physical and spiritual health," Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Whisnutama said at the launch event.

Also present at the event were Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, the deputy chairman of health and education at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry James Riady and the deputy president director of Siloam Hospitals International Caroline Riady.

Terawan said the collaboration between the two ministries must take care of four aspects to be able to attract both domestic and foreign tourists. 

First, Indonesia must offer different health tour packages to those offered by other countries.

Second, the government must think of ways to win back the trust of Indonesian patients. 

"How do we win the trust of Indonesians so they do not seek treatment abroad? We must offer packages that are responsible, rational and innovative," Terawan said. 

Third, the packages should offer enough activities that medical tourists can enjoy for several days.

Lastly, local healthcare providers should provide a seamless payment system. 

"We have the technology. We simply can't afford to have any slip in payment," Terawan said.

Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, the deputy of industrial and institutional development at the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, said the Health Ministry had agreed to make the collaboration part of the ministries' effort to support President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's "10 New Balis" project. 

Medical tourists typically travel abroad to get medical treatments that are too expensive or unavailable in their home countries. These can range from dental and cosmetic treatments to treatments for cardiovascular problems and terminal illnesses, especially cancer.