IndonesiaThe medical device service market in Indonesia is hungry for used medical equipment and dominated by dealer representatives, which command as much as 70 percent of the market.

The remaining 30 percent is a mix of in-house and ISOs, according to Arpri Setiyawan, a medical device field service engineer in Indonesia.

“There is no multivendor service here,” says Setiyawan, adding that the manufacturers’ service is minimal as well. A regulatory committee monitors the quality of healthcare service at Indonesia’s more than 1,000 hospitals.

Indonesia, an ethnically-diverse nation almost three times the size of Texas and the fourth most populous nation on the globe, has a mix of both private and public hospitals, but funding to the public hospitals is very low compared to many other countries. Regional healthcare systems are increasing in popularity but many doctors and facilities require up-front payment.

The country’s economy has been stalled since the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997. That, and increasing civil unrest, led to the impeachment of President Abdurrahman Wahid. Megawati Sukarnoputri — daughter of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno — became Indonesia’s newest leader on July 24.

While biomed jobs are currently sparse, Setiyawan expects that will change. Most biomeds have electrical engineering backgrounds, with education from universities, technical schools and manufacturers’ training courses. There are some early attempts to create industry groups to advocate for biomeds, but to date they haven’t produced any serious change.

According to the International Trade Administration/Trade Development of the U.S. Department of Commerce, hospitals in Indonesia were so hurt by the Asian Crisis that they have either stopped or greatly diminished their purchases of medical equipment. Private hospitals in Indonesia are looking into alternatives, such as buying used or refurbished equipment from the United States to replace outdated healthcare technology. On the other hand, public hospitals are prohibited from buying used medical equipment. A Commerce Department report says to take greatest advantage of export opportunities, used/refurbished equipment suppliers should be able to provide training, technical assistance, spare parts and after-the-sale service.

Setiyawan says it is difficult to find suitable test equipment and replacement parts for service calls along the world’s largest archipelago and online service materials are not widely utilized. Field service is never routine in a country made up of 17,000 islands across 3,000 miles, only 6,000 of which are inhabited.