Predictors of the Use of Traditional Medicines in the Universal Health Coverage System in Indonesia

  •  Yen Yen Sally Rahayu    
  •  Tetsuya Araki    
  •  Dian Rosleine    


Background: Indonesia has committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and introduced national health insurance (JKN) to meet that commitment. Despite the increasing availability of healthcare services under the JKN scheme, traditional medicine (TM) continues to be a significant part of healthcare for Indonesians. In the context of the UHC system, this study aims to examine the predictors of TM use among urban and rural communities in Indonesia.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire targeting urban and rural communities. A total of 926 households were randomly selected to participate in the survey. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify the significant predictors of TM use.

Results: Multivariate analysis revealed the following variables to be predictive of TM use, namely, rural residence, being more educated, experiencing some health problem, demonstrating ethnomedical knowledge, having a favourable opinion about the safety and efficacy of TM and holistic orientation to health.  On the other hand, working in the formal sector was associated with lower odds of using TM compared to those who were employed in the informal sector.

Conclusion: People’s experience, personal attributes, and attitude towards TM, rather than dissatisfaction with healthcare service, predicted the likelihood of using TM in the UHC system in Indonesia. This finding also implies the underutilisation of JKN services by the insured TM users living in rural areas. Considering the community’s strong preferences for TM, this paper argues that its inclusion in the JKN system may increase the utilisation of the JKN service.

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