Come Heal: Bali eyes domestic travelers for medical tourism

One of Bali’s top tourist attractions, Tanah Lot temple. Photo by Justine Hong/Flickr
One of Bali’s top tourist attractions, Tanah Lot temple. Photo by Justine Hong/Flickr

Bali may not be the first place you think of when you consider destinations for medical tourism, but an Indonesian agency dedicated to the field says it’s shifting focus to attract domestic tourists to the island as an option for various medical services.

The Indonesian Medical Tourism Board (IMTB) said that many tourists come to Bali for cosmetic procedures, from face implants to liposuction, to non-invasive options like botox injections. With around 60 patients monthly, these procedures bring in around IDR1.2 billion (US$82,155) for the practitioners.

IMTB General Manager for Bali, Putu Deddy Suhartawan, told Liputan6 yesterday that there are 15 hospitals in Bali that have been accredited to perform such procedures at the national level, while four have received international accreditation.

“But [before], each hospital would work on their own, sporadically. What we’re doing right now is to coordinate, inspire collaboration, because the hospitals have these facilities worth marketing, usually with foreign patients. We’ll combine with hotel [packages],” Deddy said.

Deddy said tourists from Australia, China, and India topped the list for medical tourists in the province last year, but due to COVID-19 the board is now shifting their target markets to domestic tourists.

“If we promote and campaign for domestic [tourists], there’s potential. So many of them travel out of the country for medical check-ups, but now they can’t go abroad,” Deddy said.

This is hardly the first time that the potential for medical tourism in Bali has been talked about, with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan highlighting the matter earlier in August.

At the time, Luhut said he instructed Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to identify potential investors, who could help develop international-standard hospitals in Bali, as well as Jakarta and Medan.

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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