Indonesia’s healthcare sector has long faced significant challenges, particularly when achieving equitable access to healthcare services across the archipelago. However, a promising prospect has emerged for Indonesia to overcome these challenges and create an accessible and equitable healthcare system in every province.
The shortage of medical professionals becomes one of key obstacles in achieving equal access to healthcare services. Availability of health facilities is also still concentrated in Java Island, as of 2021, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS). With inadequate healthcare infrastructure, the country has higher health expenditure per capita in areas with lower numbers of health facilities as it requires higher costs for patient mobilization.
Millions of fragmented medical records which are still input manually and not integrated contributes to Indonesia’s healthcare challenges. More than 80% of health facilities do not use digital records, which leads to difficulties in medical record transfer. As a result, healthcare providers are not able to access up-to-date and accurate patient health data.
To address those issues, the government has issued regulations for the healthcare system, including decentralizing the health system and allocating 10% to the local government’s budget for the health sector, while the coordination and integration of the central and regional governments need more improvement, and the fulfillment of the minimum limit of fund allocation should be implemented in more cities and regencies.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia has initiated the 2020-2024 Digital Transformation Strategy in the Health Sector, which aims to transform the healthcare system into a more efficient, effective, and patient-centered model. One of the key initiatives of this strategy is the SATUSEHAT (previously PeduliLindungi) platform.
East Ventures – Digital Competitiveness Index (EV-DCI) 2023 stated that the SATUSEHAT platform has the potential to play a crucial role in achieving equitable healthcare access across Indonesia. The platform can help address the challenges of fragmented data and uneven healthcare infrastructure by facilitating data exchange and collaboration among healthcare providers.
Impact of SATUSEHAT on current issues faced by various stakeholders
Source: EV-DCI 2023 report
Business players, including conventional healthcare and digital healthcare startups can integrate data and services into the government’s ecosystem, including SATUSEHAT. This effort can bring an opportunity to develop a digital-based product, such as an IoT and AI-based preventive medical activity products. The collaboration will make healthcare more accessible, not only for big cities, but also for those living in the 2nd and 3rd tier areas. Eventually, Indonesia can enhance the quality of all Indonesians’ lifes.
In achieving the integration of health service, business players need to make several adjustments, such as:
- Align business strategies, business models, product and services
- Ensure investment in support systems, such as hardware, software, and human resources
- Adjust the technical information system used, including standard operating procedures (SOP) and human resources (HR).
For conventional healthcare, companies need to allocate investment funds for digitalizing medical data. Meanwhile, digital healthcare startups can develop a strategy to utilize the business potential of data integration.
Positive integration progress of SATUSEHAT platform along with innovative digital initiatives from stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem manifest promising prospects in achieving equitable access to Indonesia’s healthcare across the archipelago.
The EV-DCI 2023 report can be downloaded at east.vc/DCI