“Clever” Indonesian medical system

During my stay in Indonesia I already had some “meetings” with the Indonesian medical system. I had some problems with a skin, bees bite and long lasting bronchitis (I tried to get well almost 2 months). But all things that happen and treatment that I got in different places it was quite ok, even if I (like European) didn’t sometimes understood the system – why it’s made so complicated.

But yesterday, when I needed to make my last vaccine from Hepatitis B (like 2 first vaccines I had time to make before coming to Indonesia) I was totally surprised of Indonesian medical system.

So here is the story :)

We came to the clinics at 8:00 am, after couple of minutes waiting in the reception I was registered with a doctor (that starts to work this day only at 10:00 am and works only 2 hours). First strange thing if really only one doctor in whole big clinic can work with the vaccinations? Let it be, we were already there and I wanted to finish this vaccination question as soon as possible, so let’s wait :).

We went to the section, where we need to register for a line to that doctor. Like it’s quite early, I thought that I will be one of the firsts in the line. A little bit before 10:00 am, we already sitting in the front of doctors doors. 10.30 – 11.00 am doctor doesn’t  show up yet!

We went to speak with a nurse about my vaccination, if it will be enough time to make necessary analysis still today. Like I read somewhere that before making vaccination in Indonesia, in some clinics make additional blood test and etc. to check if patient health condition is really good to take the vaccine. The nurse didn’t say anything, just “please wait for a doctor”.

Already 11:15 am, finally doctor show up – but with a big sadness, I‘m not the first one in the line – more 5 people before me. So I’m still waiting for my “magic” vaccine.

Finally doctor invites me almost before 12:00 am (before his working hours finished). 3 min. in his cabinet, he gives the papers for making vaccination and that’s all. No tests, no questions.

I came back to nurse, showed doctors papers, she gave the bill for visiting doctor and explains what to do next. I’m going to pay to cashier for visiting doctor for 3 min. (and waiting almost 2 hours), coming back to nurse to give the copy of payment.

Going to pharmacy, putting the paper that doctor gave (vaccine name), waiting till pharmacy person will call me. Finally I heard my name, get the bill for vaccine. Going to pay for cashier again, coming back to pharmacy, showing the copy of payment and again waiting till they will call my name and will give the vaccine.

Finally, I have the vaccine and the syringe (yeah, you need to pay even for the doctors tools).

Going to another place, showing again all papers, explain what I want, giving the vaccine. Again getting the bill (for injection), going to cashier again, paying and coming back with payment copy.

Only then they made me the vaccine. Finally!!! After almost 4,5 hours in clinic I got my 3rd Hepatitis B vaccine!

After all, I started to think, why I needed to wait for a doctor and pay for his visit (3 min.), if he wrote only the paper. Why the nurse can’t do it, if no additional test needed to be done and etc.? Why needed to make so many payments at different time in different cabinets if would be enough to pay just for all service at once and get it in one place (for example in Lithuania we have special cabinet /places where you can make all vaccines,  it’s like dedicated only to vaccinations)?

In my mind is only 2 thoughts: First they want to earn more money of doing so complicated process and involving more people to whom you will need to pay. Second – because of low unemployment situation in Indonesia they try hire more people and give them even small jobs (I already had many situation in another places when 1 person opens the doors, 2nd asks what you are searching for, 3rd find what you need, 4th gives you a bill, 5th takes your money, 6th pack your stuff and 7th helps you to take out the motorbike from parking ares). The nurse’s makes only documentation, they don’t’ have any right to decide or give any information about medical treatment. Other person makes just vaccinations, others just collect the recipes, other just collects the medicine, others gives you a bill. Everything could be much more easier :).

So what do you think it is? The way to earn more money or the way to engage more people and try to reduce unemployment in the country?

P.S. my advice even if in Indonesia the price of vaccination will be much cheaper than in your country, I suggest (if there is possibility) to make all vaccines before you are coming to Indonesia. First everything will be more clear and second you won’t waste your time and won’t kill nerve cells :D.

Do you have experience with medical systems abroad? Share your experience :)

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

Vaccinations for Indonesia
Health institutions in Yogyakarta
Asian people are not poor – they live easy


Vaccinations for Indonesia

You can find many information what kind of vaccinations for Indonesia you may need, if you are planning to come to here for longer time (or shorter). But the risks to health whilst traveling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities in Indonesia, length of stay, in which part of Indonesia you will stay and general health of the traveler. As well maybe some of the vaccines you already got in the childhood?

It’s recommended that you consult with your general practitioner or practice nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travelers can’t be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

My suggestion:

    • First of all check in your medical report which vaccines you got in the childhood and for how long it valid (or ask your parents)
    • Second, talk with the doctor, give as much as possible information – where exactly you will stay in Indonesia, for how long, what are your plans for traveling around.

The doctor will recommend vaccines and you can choose which one you really need. Don’t make too many vaccines just because of safety. Many things will depend on you, for example where you will eat, how you will take care of your hygiene, how you prevent yourself from mosquitoes and etc.

Before coming to Indonesia I made such vaccines:

      • Hepatitis A (I manage to make only 2 before coming and after all I found out that I didn’t need this one at all, like I got it in childhood)
      • Hepatitis B (I made 2 before coming to Indonesia and 3rd in Indonesia)
      • Tetanus-diphtheria
      • Typhoid


Which vaccines to make suggest some internet sources (you can find and other recommendations)
  • Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid.
  • Other vaccines to consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travelers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above:

  • Cholera: spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. More common during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It would be unusual for travelers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
  • Diphtheria: spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
  • Hepatitis A: spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.
  • Hepatitis B: spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
  • Japanese Encephalitis: spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is higher for long stay travelers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Rabies: spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when per-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
  • Tetanus: spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
  • Typhoid: spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.
  • Malaria risk is present in most areas, except Jakarta municipality, main cities, urban areas and the main tourist resorts, throughout the year. Risk is highest in rural areas and in the five eastern provinces of East Nusa Tengarra, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua.
  • In North Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, Borneo/Kalimantan, Central, South East and North Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara, risk is not high enough to warrant antimalarial tablets for most travelers, however, it may be considered for certain groups who may be at higher risk e.g. longer stay in rural areas, visiting friends or relatives, those with medical conditions, immunosuppression or those without a spleen.
  • There is low to no risk in Jakarta municipality, the main cities, urban areas and the main tourist resorts, including Bali and Java.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets. Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is the first choice.
  • Malaria precautions: avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • If you have been traveling in a malaria’s area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly.
  • Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
  • If traveling to high risk malaria’s areas, remote from medical facilities, carrying emergency malaria standby treatment may be considered.
Dengue Fever
A viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain – hence its other name “break bone fever”. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. Every 5 years in Indonesia exist outbreak of Dengue fever, this year (2015) was the 5th year, so many people got it.

Some information used from internet sources.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

“Clever” medical system
What to do during rainy season
Visa for Indonesia


Health institutions in Yogyakarta

Main medicine to heal the fever, flue, bites, headache you can find in supermarkets, small shops. In general pharmacies you can find some other medicine as well. But more specific medicine that doctor wrote you in recipe you can find mostly only in pharmacies that is inside hospitals, clinics or private doctor office.

Health institutions in Yogyakarta are public, private clinics, hospitals as well private doctors (mostly specialize on one medical field). In Yogyakarta there are many places but my list made by my experience, where I have been and got the medical treatment. Like I have Lithuanian travel insurance I went only to private places. But before going to any private place it’s better with you have at least 300 000 Rp or even better 500 000 Rp (like you need to pay for doctor check-in, medicine and analysis if will be done).

Clinic in YogyakartaKlinic Gading 24 Jam (clinic)

Umum, dokter panggil, gigi&mulut, UGM. Labaratorium, ECG, rotgen.
Jl. Mayjend D.I. Panjaitan 25, Yogyakarta
Telp. (0274) 375396
Working hours – 24 hours


I visited here 3 doctors (because of bee bite, long lasting cough). The most professional is Dr. Winda (female). She doesn’t work here every day, so better to call to reception and get information when she will be in clinic. She speaks English fluently (another 2 doctors not so much).

For doctor visit I paid 42 000 Rp (other doctors’ visits costed here 27 000 Rp each). And medicine price depends on your diagnosis. As well I got all needed medical reports in English for my insurance company – no extra charge.

Process: you come to reception desk, show your ID, they make your patient ID and then you wait till they invite you to visit doctor. After visiting doctor you leave the recipe in the box on the reception desk and wait till they collect your medicine and invite you. Then the reception person explains you how to use medicine and give a bill to pay (for visiting, medicine and etc.).

Health institutions in YogyakartaRumah sakit Bethesda (clinic, hospital)

Jl. Jend. Sudirman 70, Yogyakarta
Telp. (0274) 562246/586688
Working hours – 8-5pm (for main doctors), but there is emergency place which works 24 hours


I visited here only 1 doctor (because of bronchitis). Don’t remember the name, but the doctor (male) speaks good English. He works every day in different department (in the same hospital) and usually from 9:00 till 11:00 am.

For doctor visit I paid 130 000 Rp. For each analysis you need to pay extra. And medicine price depends on your diagnosis. As well I got all needed medical reports in English for my insurance company but such report cost extra 5 000 Rp.

As well I made my 3rd Hepatitis vaccination. For vaccine, doctor visit and other services I paid in total 269 000 Rp.

Process: you come to information desk, take a waiting line number from device, fill the document (written in bahasa Indonesian) and waiting till your number will be shown on the screen. In reception desk they will make your patient ID and explain where the doctor cabinet is. You go there, show your patient ID for nurse, she/he check main your health condition and you wait till they invite you to visit doctor.
After visiting doctor you will get bill, you go to cash desk, pay for visit and copy of the bill bring back to the nurse.
Then you go to medicine desk in the box leave the original bill. After some time, they invite you and give you another bill for medicine (and return original bill for visiting doctor). You go again to cash desk pay for medicine and copy of the bill bring again to medicine desk. After some time they invite you and explain how to use all medicines.

Health institutions in YogyakartaDr. H. Rikyanto, Sp. KK, M. Kes (private doctor)

Spesialis kulit&kelamin
Jl. Tentara Pelajar 10, Yogyakarta
(inside the “Apotik Bumija”)
Telp. (0274) 512209

Working hours – 6:30-8:00 pm (better to come at least ~20 min. earlier to be sure that you will get inside before working hours will end).

I visited this doctor because of skin problems. Doctor H. Rikyanto speaks English fluently.

For doctor visit I paid 70 000 Rp. For each analysis you need to pay extra. And medicine price depends on your diagnosis. As well I got all needed medical reports in English for my insurance company – no extra charge.

Process: the doctors assistant ask who is waiting the first and starts to create patient files for all the people who a waiting and put them to the line. Assistant every time invites each person. After visiting doctor, assistant gives you a bill for visiting – you need to pay for him. The recipe should be given for a pharmacy person and the wait till he invites you. He explains how to use medicine and give you a bill – you need to pay there for medicine.

Pharmacy in YogyakartaKimia Farma 2 (pharmacy)

Jl. Malioboro 123, Yogyakarta (near “Malioboro Mall”, in the opposite side)

Quite big pharmacy where you can find some European medicine.



In Yogyakarta there is international hospital (information in bahasa Indonesia) as well. I have never been there (because it’s quite expensive), but I heard that there treats with patients like kings or queens ;).

Or instead of going to doctors, you can try traditional Indonesian herbal medicine “Jamu”.

Do you have any experience with health institutions in Yogyakarta? Share it :)

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

“Clever” Indonesian medical system
Vaccinations for Indonesia
Visa for Indonesia