Bisnis Bali reports quotes Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, as complaining that Indonesians spend more that US$400 million each year on foreign medical treatment.
During a visit to Bali on Saturday, May 5, 2012, to open the new BIMC Hospital on Nusa Dua, Bali, Minister Pangestu said the large amount of money siphoned off shore for medical care underlines the need for more international standard medical facilities in Indonesia.
“Many Indonesian citizens travel abroad for medical care. Data from a few years ago indicate that (the amount spent annually on foreign medical care) reaches US$400 million,” said the Minister. Pangestu added that the amount now being spent in this way could even be larger. International quality medical facilities available in Indonesia, in her view, could conserve valuable foreign exchange by providing medical services in Indonesia now being spent in neighboring ASEAN countries or other destinations.
Speaking at the inauguration of the world-class medical facility now open in Nusa Dua, Pangestu said: “Moreover, we also hope that Indonesia is able to attract foreign tourist and domestic for medical services available in Bali.” Expanding on this theme, the Tourism Minister said that medical tourism forms part of her Ministry’s priority strategic planning. To this end, the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy is coordinating their efforts with the Ministry of Health.
“I hope that in the coming year we will already have a road map for health tourism. A main factor (in this road map) that must be addressed is making medical service in Indonesia meet international standards in order to attract foreign tourists,” explained the Minister.
Speaking at the BIMC Hospital opening in Nusa Dua, the CEO of BIMC, Craig Beveridge said his company stood ready to contribute to the success of the APEC Summit to be held in Nusa Dua next year. He explained how specially configured VVIP rooms withdirect links to security services now formed a part of the new hospital and how BIMC now maintains medical services in all areas involved in hosting the coming APEC international summit to be attended by a large number of world leaders.
[BIMC Hospital Website]
[Bali: In Sickness and in Health]
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