Treatment use and expenditure on curative care in rural Indonesia

Peter Berman, Barbara A. Ormond, Ascobat Gani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Rural Indonesians face a diverse and complex marketplace in which they can seek treatment for perceived illness. This includes a wide range of informal, traditional and licensed allopathic public and private providers. This paper describes the richness of household care-seeking behaviour in terms of utilization of different treatment alternatives and household spending on curative care. Better understanding of these patterns is an important prerequisite for the development of new policy initiatives to strengthen health care financing without negatively affecting service equity and effectiveness. Utilization and expenditure for different types of providers are presented in aggregate for the sample population from rural West Java. More detailed breakdowns are given by perceived severity of illness, specific diagnostic categories and income quartiles. Treatment prices and travel costs per treatment contact are also calculated. The data highlight the importance of informal sources of treatment in care-seeking as well as the importance of public and private licensed providers in spending. Rural districts with only a few licensed providers show much variety in prices for treatment by these providers in their public and private roles. Lower income patients use less treatment overall and less modern licensed care. Overall, there is much 'willingness to use' treatment and moderate 'willingness to pay'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
JournalHealth policy and planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1987


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