Jakarta, April 6, 2012 – Indonesia has been able to make great progress in increasing the coverage of health services. A significant reason behind this is the thousands of new health workers graduating from schools annually. However, quality of new graduates still needs to be addressed and focusing on the education they receive is vital.
As a nursing student studying at Gadjah Mada University, one of the most established academic institution in Indonesia, Maria Leonar feels confident that the education she is receiving will help her provide good health service for the public. "I have easy access to good learning materials, and the lecturers here are very experienced. Students in other nursing schools may not be as fortunate," she said illustrating the disparity among schools.
Quality of the schools varies widely, where quality of newly established education institutions remain poor. Evidence shows little improvement in quality of doctors, nurses and midwives during the period of 1997-2007. The Medical Practice Act in 2004 supported the establishment of the Indonesian Medical Council, which produced standards for physician competencies and medical education in 2006. However, given the varying capacities of Indonesian medical schools, the standards are not implemented consistently. As a consequence, large and growing variation in quality exists among schools and their graduates.
Health Professional Education Quality Project
Since 2009, the World Bank has been working with the Indonesian government to implement the Health Professional Education Quality project to help ensure that doctors, nurses, dentists and midwives graduate with the same level of competency. “The first step to improve the standard of schools is knowing what to improve, and this will be done through a new accreditation system we are currently developing,” said Illah Sailah from the Ministry of National Education and Culture. "The main purpose of having a better accreditation system is not to rank schools but as an external feedback to let schools know how they can improve," she added.