Indonesia spending: Reform under pressure

The Indonesian government will have to dig deeper if it is to meet its goals for universal healthcare.

The government of Indonesia has some ambitious investment plans as it seeks to capitalise on strong economic growth. One of its biggest is a scheme to provide all citizens with health cover under a unified national health insurance system by 2019. But reforming the current fragmented system could prove more costly than expected.

Indonesia already has several insurance schemes which have been growing rapidly and now cover around 63% of Indonesia’s 240m population. These include schemes for the poor and near-poor (Jamkesmas), public sector workers (Askes), private-sector employees (Jamsostek) and the military (Taspen).

But the country’s 2004 Social Security Law mandated universal cover by 2019, which entails even faster expansion. The Ministry of Health has said that, as from 2014, existing schemes will start to be unified under a national health insurance system. The government has already set up a new body called the BPJS Kesehatan, with funding of US$2.6bn, to administer the new system.

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