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Jakarta Post

Indonesia lacks psychiatrists

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Sat, September 10 2011   /  08:00 am

Indonesia is still in need of thousands of psychiatrists to help deal with mental health disorders, an official with the Health Ministry said on Thursday evening.

Speaking at a forum held to improve the role of media in mental health issues in Bandung, West Java, Suyatmi, who is in charge of non-facility health services, said that Indonesia currently had only 600 psychiatrists nationwide.

With a population of 240 million, this meant that each psychiatrist served between 400,000 and 500,000 people, he said.

“Ideally a psychiatrist serves 30,000 people, meaning that Indonesia needs some 8,000 psychiatrists,” he said.

The condition is considered alarming, given a 2007 demography and health survey that revealed 11.6 percent of people 15 years old and above experienced minor mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and 0.46 percent of the total po...