Examples of GIZ’s work: Health insurance for over a hundred million people

16.03.2015 – The Indonesian Government intends to offer state health insurance cover to all its citizens – whether rich or poor.

About a year ago, the Indonesian Government introduced a state health insurance reform. Since then, the number of people entitled to medical care has risen by twenty million. The intention is for the entire population of the island state to join the unified statutory health insurance scheme by 2019. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the Indonesian Government in achieving this objective.

GIZ has been advising Indonesia on health system matters since the end of the 1990s. Consequently, it was able to draw on a wealth of experience when working on the development of the state health insurance scheme. Julius Spatz, Programme Manager for Social Protection in Indonesia, is satisfied with the result: 'Together with the Indonesian Government, we reformed the old system and made it more efficient. It will no longer just be affluent Indonesians who benefit from state health insurance; poor Indonesians will now be able to benefit to a greater extent too,' explains Spatz. Those who draw a salary must make a health insurance contribution equivalent to five per cent of their salary each month. Poor citizens receive a state subsidy.

The demand for medical care is immense. Because the number of people entitled to insurance services has risen rapidly, more medical practices and hospitals are currently being set up. At the same time, the Indonesian Government is working on a decentralisation strategy because medical facilities up until now have predominantly been located in conurbations. 'The population in rural regions should also have better access to comprehensive medical care in future,' says Spatz. The objective is to address these challenges by 2019. The political will to ensure that all Indonesians have health insurance cover is considerable as it is already apparent how much the people are benefiting from it.

GIZ also works in other countries to help develop and establish social protection systems in the health sector. These countries include India, Nepal, Pakistan, Cambodia, Tanzania and Kenya. Overall, GIZ support has enabled over of hundred millions of people to get better financial cover for medical care over the last three years.