The health care system in Indonesia includes public hospitals, government health centres called Puskesmas, clinics run by religious groups and private clinics. In the cities, there are public hospitals and clinics. Mobile Puskesmas were created to reach remote areas. The staff of these units focus on disease prevention, the health of mothers and children, and general nursing services. Throughout Indonesia, increasing demand for medical services has led to the openingof new private hospitals. Many wealthy people prefer to go outside of the country, to places such as Singapore, if they have serious illnesses that require hospitalization.

Health care in Indonesia has been affected by recent economic problems. In an effort to provide health services for the poor, the government has increased subsidies. The poor receive free medical services in government health centres and hospitals.

Indonesia's population is young, and only 5% of the population is aged 65 years or older. Life expectancy is about 63 years. The infant mortality rate is about 57 deaths for every 1000 live births. Thousands of midwives have been trained in an effort to lower this rate by ensuring good care for newborns and their mothers.

International aid organizations have contributed medical supplies, drugs and vaccines to Indonesia's health centres. Efforts are also under way to provide clean water and sanitation for poor communities. The World Health Organization and the Indonesian government have also collaborated on a project to treat people with tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is still a leading cause of death throughout the country, claiming the lives of about 175,000 people a year.

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In Central Java, a dukun, or folk doctor, might be called when someone is ill. He writes Islamic prayers on pieces of paper that are dipped in a glass of water. The patient drinks the water, which is thought to fight the demon that is causing the sickness.
Traditional remedies and practices are common in Indonesia. It is thought that most common illnesses, such as colds, are caused by masuk angin, which literally translates as "the entrance of wind." One traditional form of healing involves using a heavy metal coin called kerokan to rub oil on a person's neck and back.

Herbal remedies called jamu originated in the royal courts of Java many centuries ago. The women of the nobility discovered and refined the use of roots, flowers, bark, nuts, herbs and spices to improve their health and appearance. Their recipes are used today to produce jamu. Young women can be seen walking the streets of cities, selling these natural remedies from trays.