Indonesian doctors and hospitals are losing nearly Rp 20 trillion ($1.94 billion) annually to their foreign counterparts, as more patients seek medical treatment abroad, a medical industry leader claimed on Tuesday.
Zaenal Abidin, the secretary general of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), said many Indonesians believed that foreign services were better than local ones and this had contributed to the rising number of patients seeking treatment overseas.
"This is not a good thing as we have competent doctors in the country," Zaenal said. "I can say that some of our doctors are even better than doctors overseas and many of them are just as good."
He said Indonesia had high medical standards and that to open a practice, doctors must pass a competence examination, an ethical code test and a personal procedure examination conducted by the Indonesian Medical Council (KKI).