Past Issues

Challenges and Opportunity of Psychiatric Care in Indonesia

Andi J. Tanra, Ireine S. C. Roosdy

Indonesia holds an important position among nations, geographically and social-politically. As an archipelago of over 17,000 islands that lies between two large continents and two great oceans, Indonesia is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with around 300 distinct native ethnic groups, and 742 different languages and dialects. Government expenditure on healthcare in Indonesia is about 3.1% of its total gross domestic product. Many psychiatric problems were to be expected could raise from such a diverse cultural population, but as a nation,Indonesia has struggled to thrive to a mentally healthy nation by striving to develop its own personalized psychiatric care. Psychiatry arrived in Southeast Asia in the late nineteenth century. Dutch colonialism brought psychiatry and psychology to the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia’s name during Dutch colonialism). Mental health care policy of the colonial Dutch government in the Dutch East Indies was centered on the mental hospital, for custodial function. In the early 1950s, the new government of Indonesia took over full responsibility for mental health and mental health institutions, part of a larger policy of nationalization and centralization, with the director of mental health of the Ministry of Health in Jakarta functioning as the central agency for planning mental health services. In 2000s, there were new growing interest in modern psychiatry. This emerging interest has come to uprise since the growing cases of narcotics and psychotropic abuse among Indonesian youngsters. A renewed Mental Health Act was published in 2012. President Joko Widodo in 2017 declares a national alert and fight over drug problems, taking mental problem as a serious matter for the nation. In national strategic plan of Health Planning Guidelines for 2015-2019, there are seven aspects of Healthcare Development Program, including the Development of Mental Health Services. The target of this services is to increase the quality and access of mental health service and drug problems. We gave an example of Dr. Soeharto Heerdjan Mental Hospital, to describe rehabilitation programs for its psychiatric patients and drug abusers.
Key Word Indonesia, mental health services, psychiatry, mental rehabilitation
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