What are the Challenges for Indonesia in Achieving Universal Health Coverage

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There are many reasons why countries put their effort towards universal health coverage. Universal health coverage is perceived as the assurance that all people will be able to access health services without experiencing financial difficulties (WHO, 2010). The World Health Organization (WHO) put this issue as one of the global health priorities since 2005, when a resolution on universal health coverage emerged during the 58th World Health Assembly (WHA) (World Health Assembly, 2005). Seven years

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This paper will focus on the main challenges faced by the Government of Indonesia (GoI) in achieving universal health coverage which are lack of government capacity in managing health finance, extending health insurance coverage, and establishing good governance in the decentralization system, and discuss recommendations.

The first main challenge for the GoI is health financing management capacity. Studies conducted in developing countries in Asia showed that good financing system will ensure quality of health care (Tangcharoensathien et al, 2011; Lagomarsino et al, 2012). In the case of Indonesia, the GoI is committed to improve health system and putting considerable effort towards universal coverage. However, allocation for health sector was less than 9% of the total government budget in 2010 (Tangcharoensathien et al, 2011) which was lower than Bhutan, Thailand, and Maldives (WHO, 2011). Furthermore, although the GoI claimed that the health sector expenditure has been increased twofold since 2007, the health expenses for 2012 was only around 3% of the national expenditure (Ministry of Finance, 2013). In addition to that, the health expenditure sourced from the GoI funds was less than a half of the total health expenditure which was lower compared to the fund from government of Thailand that contributed to more than three-quarter of the total
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