THE COVID-19 pandemic is seen as a momentum for hospitals to improve services for the community. Corona virus pandemic that is ravaging all over the world, including in Indonesia, must be utilized by hospitals to improve services so as not to lose to foreign countries.

According to the Director of the Indonesian Medical Tourism Board (IMTB) Yudiyantho said The current epidemic conditions such as a number of countries, including Singapore, prohibit new patients from coming to the hospital so that this can be a momentum for hospitals to improve service standards.

“There were many hospitals in Indonesia that actually had international accreditation and were recognized by international institutions for the quality of health services,” he said.

Yudiyanto explained there are several in Jakarta such as the Jakarta Eye Center, Morula IVF and  Rumah Sakit Pusat Angkatan Darat (RSPAD) Gatot Subroto, as well as several others including in the regions. These hospitals are able to compete with those in Malaysia and Singapore.

“With many hospitals having the same quality and services as in developed countries, people no longer need to go abroad for medical treatment, such as Malaysia, Singapore or Australia. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic this is actually a great opportunity for health service providers in Indonesia to be able to provide health services for those accustomed to making medical trips abroad,” he noetd.

Yudiyantho said based on data released by the Indonesia Services Dialogue (ISD), every year at least Indonesians spend IDR100 trillion to get health services abroad. Still from the same survey, the number of Indonesians seeking treatment abroad has increased by almost 100% over the past 10 years. If in 2006 there were 350,000 patients who went abroad for treatment, the number jumped to 600,000 in 2015.

 “That is, the potential loss of foreign exchange in the field of medical tourism is very large. To seize the moment that all Indonesian medical tourism stakeholders must work together to seize the domestic market with the same goal. The key to seizing the domestic market is education and promotion to the people of Indonesia. We show that the quality and health services of Indonesia are very good,” he stressed.

However, he added, in terms of providing excellent health services and developing medical tourism in Indonesia, all stakeholders should be able to issue policies that can support the domestic medical tourism program.

“Of course all this will work well with the full support of the government, especially from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and also related State-Owned Enterprises. That way synergies will be formed by helping to promote simultaneously with the private sector so that Indonesia can compete in the tourism arena. medical world,” Yudiyantho concluded. [antaranews/photo special]