In­ter­na­tional Qual­ity Health­care for Ex­pats in In­done­sia

While many for­eign­ers will gen­er­ally find In­done­sia an ir­re­sistible hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, Steven Graaf saw it as the ideal place where he can put into prac­tice what he has learned from his med­i­cal stud­ies abroad. He also aims to sat­isfy the unique med­i­cal

Indonesia Expat - - NEWS - By Nadya Joy Go­zonA­dor

Hav­ing been mes­mer­ized by In­done­sia’s unique fu­sion of sim­plic­ity and grandeur even as a child, Steven Graaf knew early on that the coun­try would have a spe­cial place in his heart. Apart from his fre­quent vis­its to the ar­chi­pel­ago ev­ery now and then grow­ing up, his mas­ter’s the­sis was on HIV/AIDS in In­done­sia and he in­terned for a cou­ple of hos­pi­tals in Jakarta as a young man. And although they met in the Nether­lands, the wo­man he ended up mar­ry­ing is also In­done­sian.

The de­ci­sion to move to Jakarta was set­tled when Graaf was of­fered a job as an ex­pat med­i­cal ad­vi­sor with an in­ter­na­tional as­sis­tance com­pany. His pre­vi­ous jobs at the Na­tional Health Ser­vice in the United King­dom and the In­ter­na­tional Health Cen­ter in The Hague ex­posed him to var­i­ous needs of pa­tients of dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties. These ex­pe­ri­ences helped him un­der­stand more the needs and ex­pec­ta­tions of the ex­pa­tri­ate pa­tient com­mu­nity in In­done­sia.

Four years af­ter mov­ing to Jakarta, Graaf de­cided to es­tab­lish his own med­i­cal prac­tice. But this wasn’t your av­er­age clinic. Graaf saw lim­i­ta­tions of the In­done­sian health­care providers, so he knew he wanted to cre­ate some­thing sim­i­lar to the health­care ser­vice ex­pats were used to get­ting in the Nether­lands and the UK. He wanted to put up a place where a pa­tient would see the same doc­tor, where med­i­cal notes are elec­tron­i­cally kept and well or­ga­nized in a data­base, and where pa­tients will be taken care of ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal stan­dards.

From this, Good Prac­tice was born.

Lo­cated in the heart of Jakarta, Graaf’s busi­ness Good Prac­tice aims to be rec­og­nized as the city’s lead­ing ev­i­dence­based med­i­cal provider. The fam­ily medicine clinic looks to con­sis­tently pro­vide ex­cel­lent med­i­cal ser­vices and pri­mary care for the en­tire fam­ily, while keep­ing up to date with the lat­est in med­i­cal and health­care re­search. Graaf also takes pride in fully com­ply­ing with in­ter­na­tional guide­lines. Good Prac­tice aims to meet the needs of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity in In­done­sia, as well as those of lo­cals search­ing for the high­est qual­ity of med­i­cal care.

Graaf told In­done­sia Ex­pat that to en­sure com­pany cul­ture is main­tained and the pri­mary pur­pose of Good Prac­tice is car­ried out for its clien­tele, his staff must stay on top of things. He ex­plained that while he is not prac­tic­ing as a doc­tor, he has never stopped study­ing and get­ting pro­fes­sional train­ing from a va­ri­ety of med­i­cal cour­ses in­clud­ing car­di­ol­ogy, oph­thal­mol­ogy and more. In ad­di­tion to be­ing knowl­edge­able with Dutch medicine, Graaf is also well-versed in the Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal mod­ules, which he ex­plains is es­sen­tial if Good Prac­tice wants to stay cur­rent.

The CEO em­pha­sized the sig­nif­i­cance of hav­ing a closely knit­ted team, which gives them a com­mu­nal sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity to look af­ter the well-be­ing of Good Prac­tice’s pa­tients. As a team largely built on ac­count­abil­ity and trust, they are able to eas­ily dis­cuss rel­e­vant mat­ters and come up with fact-based de­ci­sions right away. The close­ness pro­vides ac­count­abil­ity, and there­fore makes every­one more likely to go the ex­tra mile for pa­tients, Graaf said.

In terms of sup­port from the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, Graaf was thank­ful to the Good Prac­tice staff who helped through­out the en­tire process at the lev­els of kelu­ra­han, ke­ca­matan and wa­likota (vil­lage ad­min­is­tra­tions, dis­tricts and the city). He’s also grate­ful to the Dutch com­mu­nity in In­done­sia for be­ing sup­port­ive in spread­ing the word about the unique health­care fa­cil­ity.

Although 90 per­cent of Good Prac­tice’s clients are ex­pats, plans of cater­ing to a larger In­done­sian au­di­ence are un­der­way. Good Prac­tice is cur­rently tak­ing care of three gen­er­a­tions of a few In­done­sian fam­i­lies, thanks to pos­i­tive word of mouth from other pa­tients.

“At Good Prac­tice, we find it sig­nif­i­cant to know some­one’s fam­ily so we know more about ev­ery fam­ily mem­ber’s med­i­cal con­di­tion and his­tory. It plays a crit­i­cal role in ev­ery pa­tient’s life,” said Graaf.

Graaf says he per­son­ally likes the chal­lenge of help­ing ex­pa­tri­ates, par­tic­u­larly in terms of set­tling in and get­ting them ori­ented with health and life in Jakarta. Good Prac­tice makes per­son­al­ized re­fer­rals for its pa­tients in and out of Jakarta and pro­vides spe­cific health guide­lines for new­com­ers in In­done­sia.

“Hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced the ex­pat life our­selves, my wife and I un­der­stand how re­lo­cat­ing to a new coun­try can be a big chal­lenge. We felt that a fam­ily medicine prac­tice as we know it in Europe did

not ex­ist in In­done­sia. That and our ex­pe­ri­ence served as our mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tors to es­tab­lish Good Prac­tice,” Graaf added.

Ten months af­ter it was es­tab­lished, Good Prac­tice cur­rently has pa­tients from 39 na­tion­al­i­ties, which “means that a lot of dif­fer­ent pa­tients ap­pre­ci­ate our con­cept,” the doc­tor said.

In terms of com­pe­ti­tion, Graaf ad­mits that its new clinic has to com­pete with big clin­ics and hos­pi­tals and deal with the fact peo­ple do not find it easy to iden­tify a good fa­cil­ity or a good doc­tor in Jakarta.

“At Good Prac­tice, we per­se­vere and strive to do well at all lev­els. We let you see the same doc­tor each time, which is a huge ad­van­tage,” ex­plained Graaf. “Our team is con­sis­tent, friendly, and warm and every­one speaks English. We have our ex­clu­sive sys­tem and data­base where we keep med­i­cal records elec­tron­i­cally. Our phar­macy has an ac­tual phar­ma­cist on site most of the time, which is an ad­van­tage be­cause we can check if your med­i­ca­tion is avail­able in In­done­sia and we are able to or­der any med­i­ca­tion for you.”

He added, “We have state-of-the-art equip­ment from the US and Ja­pan, and non-pa­tients may also come to make use of our lab­o­ra­tory. Our ob­ser­va­tion room ac­com­mo­dates peo­ple who can be treated and stay for only a cou­ple of hours. This helps those who do not wish to be ad­mit­ted at the hos­pi­tal but still want to see pro­fes­sional med­i­cal help with whom one is com­fort­able.”

Ac­cord­ing to Graaf, Good Prac­tice is most proud with its team of ex­pe­ri­enced doc­tors who are keen to lis­ten to ev­ery pa­tient’s com­plaint, do a prompt phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion and dis­cuss man­age­ment plans with them.

“We un­der­stand that health is not just the lack of ill­ness but be­ing well in the body, mind and spirit. At Good Prac­tice, we know the hall­marks of pri­mary care medicine. Pre­ven­tive care, co­or­di­na­tion of care for the ill and con­ti­nu­ity of care achieve bet­ter health out­comes,” Graaf ex­plained.

Ex­pats and lo­cals in In­done­sia are wel­come to walk in and meet the Good Prac­tice team. Graaf be­lieves that “at the end of the day, it’s im­por­tant that you are able to iden­tify a clinic that you are com­fort­able with.”

“Dr. Steven Graaf and Good Prac­tice make per­son­al­ized health plans for ex­pats in and out of Jakarta, and pro­vide spe­cific health guide­lines for new­com­ers in In­done­sia.”

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