Hospitals vs. Clinics in Indonesia and how do they work. Redisson Blue Hotel in Uluwatu, Bali

Hospitals Vs. Clinics In Indonesia And How Do They Work

Hello there! 

I’m just coming back from a month’s trip in Indonesia and let’s see that things didn’t go as planned! I had so much experience with Indonesian healthcare that I thought it would be great to share within my community, especially for solo travellers. Being alone in difficult situations is not easy but I got through it and so will you! Sometimes there is some confusion arising between clinics and hospitals in Indonesia. In this blog post, I will tell you the difference and I will also provide all the important information about where to go and how to book an appointment!

Are you ready? Let’s jump straight in!

What’s the difference between Hospitals and Clinics in Indonesia? 

Hospitals vs. Clinics in Indonesia and how do they work. Silvia carrying the x-ray to the hospital in Bali

Before getting to the details, the easiest way to simplify the difference between the two would be that the Hospital is for important urgent care or checkups whilst Clinics would be for Bali belly, small accidents and overall smaller accidents. Now let’s go into the deets: 

Hospitals

When to go: This depends on the urgency of your problem. If it’s urgent care, go immediately. My experience was really good with urgent care. I went to the hospital in Mataram, Lombok and there was no waiting time, I got straight in even if there was no urgency. If you want to book an appointment that is also easy. You can probably book a specialist for the first day or the day after. I managed to book same-day appointments at the Siloam Hospital in Denpasar, Bali. Keep reading to find out how I did it. 

How to book the appointment: Head to the Siloam Hospital website for the general checkup theme. See the bubble on the bottom right? That will connect you to an automated bot on WhatsApp and will automatically inform the agent what kind of treatment you’re looking for. You then select Talk to an Agent and book the appointment. 

Clinics

Clinics have limited knowledge so go there if your issue is not severe or you have a Bali belly. They are totally capable of applying stitches as first urgent care. A few facts to know about clinics:

  • Sometimes you have to pay cash: make sure to have some cash on you because sometimes there is no signal and it’s not possible to pay by card.
  • They won’t make a referral letter to the hospital but they will advise you to go if necessary. Don’t expect them to write a referral letter to see a specialist because it’s not needed!
  • Check ratings: Make sure to look at Google ratings when looking for your clinic. It needs to have at least 4 stars.

How to deal with your insurance

Injured solo traveller in Ubud, Bali

Dealing with insurance can be a real nightmare, but it’s okay because if you’re travelling alone it means you’re a badass already. The way they make money is by trying not to pay for anything, so they will try their very best to find ways around and not pay you back.

But knowledge is power so you need to carefully read the T&Cs of your cover so that you know what to claim and pushback when necessary.

Once you read everything, make sure to inform them about your injury straight away. For each doctor appointment make sure to have a medical report and receipts. Take pictures of everything in case you lose them and share them along the way with the insurance. Start a Google sheet with all the payments you made and how much the insurance awe you. I would also name all the pictures of documents so you always know what’s what and refer to the google sheet. Make sure you convert the IDR to your currency as well.

If you don’t have travel insurance yet, check out this one!

How to get a fit to fly certificate

Solo traveller in bed in Uluwatu, Bali

If your injury is bad and you need to fly you will get a “not fit to fly” certificate which you have to share with your insurance. When you feel better you can then ask for a fit to fly document stating that you are good to go. But getting this document is not easy. You need to get in touch with the clinics to ask if they do it before going to the appointment. If they say yes, maybe share a sample that you find online and ask if this is similar to that one. Why? Because in Indonesia many people say “yes” without understanding or to keep you quiet. This is important and you can’t afford medical appointments leading to nothing. This is my not-fit-to-fly document you can share with them.

not fit to fly document, Bali, Indonesia

The same goes for the hospital, make sure to ask in advance if this is something they do. There is also the option for them to say you are fit to fly but in Business or First Class.

Conclusion

Don’t put yourself down or regret going to Indonesia. These things happen and the good news is you are in the best place in the world to recover. You are surrounded by kind and caring locals, nature, amazing food and good hospitals. You’ve got this!

Ciao for now,

Silvia x

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