Indonesia needs docs but cannot turn to Asean

File photo showing a patient in a makeshift hospital ward. Like other poor countries, Indonesia has an acute shortage of doctors.
File photo showing a patient in a makeshift hospital ward. Like other poor countries, Indonesia has an acute shortage of doctors.PHOTO: REUTERS

Despite pact signed 10 years ago, doctors from member states cannot practise there

About once a week, Dr Eva Harianja, a general practitioner at a government-run clinic in central Jakarta, takes her turn going house to house in some of her district's low-income neighbourhoods.

On an average day, her team, which includes a nurse and a midwife, visits 20 or so homes, checking for signs of tuberculosis and other contagions. As if that's not exhausting enough, Dr Eva is seven months pregnant.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2018, with the headline 'Indonesia needs docs but cannot turn to Asean'. Print Edition | Subscribe