Only 18 percent of households in Indonesia lead a healthy lifestyle. (Antara Photo/Syifa Yulinnas)

82% of Indonesian Households Unhealthy: Minister


OCTOBER 07, 2019

Jakarta. A whopping 82 percent of Indonesian households lead an unhealthy lifestyle, a huge factor in the swelling deficit of the country's national health insurance scheme, Health Minister Nila Moeloek said on Sunday. 

There are 12 indicators for a healthy household according to the Health Ministry: the family must have health insurance; it must follow the family planning program; the mother must give birth in a hospital; the children's growth and development must be monitored; they must be breastfed whenever possible; and they must be fully immunized. 

A healthy household should also have access to a latrine and clean running water. Anyone suffering from tuberculosis in the family must undergo treatment and family members suffering from hypertension must get regular check-ups. 

A non-smoking household also scores high in the ministry's health rating.  

"Based on our most recent family survey, only 18 percent of families meet all the indicators. That's very low. The rest, 82 percent, are unhealthy," Nila said. 

She said that as a result, many diseases that could have been prevented by following a healthier lifestyle, are now affecting many Indonesians. 

Data from the national health insurance scheme, the BPJS Kesehatan, shows that providing treatment for non-communicable diseases and critical illnesses eats up most of its annual expenses. 

The government agency spent Rp 78 trillion ($5.5 billion) from 2014 to 2018, or around 17 percent of its total expenses, to provide treatment for heart disease, kidney failure and cancer.

In the same period, BPJS Kesehatan accumulated over Rp 9 trillion in deficit.   

Indonesia is also still a haven for smokers. Two-thirds of its adult population, or 64 million people, are smokers, according to global watchdog The Tobacco Atlas. 

The watchdog estimates that smoking-related diseases kill around 226,000 Indonesians every year. 

"All of these diseases can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. People with hypertension will be able to avoid risks of heart failure if they live healthily," Nila said.   

The health minister said Indonesians should get a medical check-up every six months or at least once a year.

"Physical activities, sports, are always good. Going for a long walk won't cost you anything," Nila said.