Medical Issues and the Expat in Bali

No one likes to visit the dentist. My children hate it, and I dread it as well. One of the things that expats have to think about if they live in a developing country is where they are going to receive medical treatment, and this includes dental work. Asia has been developing its medical tourism industry over the past decade, and there are now a number of countries in the region where an expat can receive medical and dental treatment that is just as good as they might get back in the States, but for a fraction of the cost.

Bali, unfortunately, is not one of those areas that are involved in the medical tourism game, although it certainly seems to be an ideal location. The medical facilities around the island have improved over the 20 years that I’ve been here; my wife just completed a complete physical in a local hospital, and while the quality is not quite as high as say Bumrungrad in Bangkok, it’s getting there. I’m going to have a physical there next year just so that I can see what it is actually like, but from what she describes, just about every test that I had done at Bumrungrad a few years ago was carried out here.

The south of the island now has several dentists with advanced equipment and training so that they can perform root canals and complex procedures in a relatively painless manner. And, just to show that medical tourism could be profitable here, their practices are filled with tourists and expats all willing to pay the higher prices that most Indonesians can’t afford, but that are much lower than if they had the same thing done in Australia or the States.

We haven’t quite reached that point yet in Singaraja, I’ve always had my dental repairs done in Bangkok, but now that I have to pay for my trips there, I’ve decided to get all dental work done locally. Last night I had to visit one to get a cracked tooth repaired. I chose Dr. Sucita who does my eldest daughter’s braces. The procedure was painless and finished quickly. The price, 100,000 rupiah, is just about USD 9 at the current exchange rate. I was happy enough with the work, and Dr. Sucita is a personable young fellow. So, for the time being I now have a dentist in Singaraja.

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~ by drbrucepk on November 15, 2008.

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