Health Inequality in Resource Poor Environments and the Pursuit of the MDGs Traditional versus Modern Healthcare in Rural Indonesia

Joseph Assan, Samuel Assan, Nicola Assan, Lauren T Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The article examines health inequalities and the impact of changing healthcare provision in rural Indonesia. Traditional medicine is often the only source of medical care for a majority of the population in rural Indonesia. However, the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires the provision and implementation of modern healthcare systems. Using case studies from four rural districts in Kaledupa, a remote island in southeast Sulawesi in Indonesia, the study shows that although modern healthcare facilities are present in the sampled island, they seem to be remote with limited access in comparison with the number of traditional practitioners. High costs, cultural beliefs, distrust and distance to modern healthcare facilities appear to be the most common reasons for people opting for traditional healthcare. However, social reconstruction in the perception and provision of care has also led to a gradual disappearance of the traditional healthcare provision. The study calls for policy intervention approaches that are geographically and culturally sensitive as the most pragmatic means towards the attainment of MDG targets for the health sector of Indonesia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93
Number of pages108
JournalJournal of Health Management
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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