TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has again talked of the government’s plan to open an international hospital in Bali. The Island of the Gods (Pulau Dewata) is targeted to be one of the medical tourism destinations to boost tourist visits.
“We plan to develop health tourism by opening an international hospital for specific diseases, such as cancer and tumors,” said Luhut at the 2021 Bali Economic and Investment Forum which was held virtually, Thursday, April 8, 2021.
According to him, several investors have shown interest in the development of the medical tourism sector. This, he added, could contribute to the number of tourists visiting Indonesia.
Luhut said the plan was a medium-to-long-term strategy of the province’s health-based tourism development that had been brought up since 2020.
In August 2020, Luhut said Indonesia recorded the highest number of citizens who travel abroad to get medical treatment totaling 600,000, above the United States with 500,000 tourists. Most Indonesians visited Malaysia and Singapore as their health services are considered affordable and promising faster recovery.
The average spending per person even reached US$3,000-10,000 or Rp42-140 million with an assumed exchange rate of Rp14,000. Through medical tourism, it is hoped that Indonesia could diversify its economy, attract foreign investment, and open up new jobs.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA