Initiatives for cancer control in Indonesia

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Published: 4 Sep 2023
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Dr K Kardinah - National Cancer Center/Dharmais Cancer Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia

Dr K Kardinah speaks to ecancer about initiatives for cancer control in Indonesia.

She says there is room for improvement regarding early detection and education of the masses about cancer in Indonesia.

The government has already brought improvements in the referral system to increase early cancer detection but more policies are needed to strengthen this system.

Dr Kardinah further discusses the government initiatives for breast cancer control and mammography screening programmes in Indonesia.


There are a lot of issues, especially for the early detection and education for the population but, in the last three years, our Minister of Health already made improvements, especially for the referral system. So our Minister of Health already made them stratified from the primary, secondary and tertiary hospitals, that’s what they are doing in the last three years. So hopefully it’s a referral system, it’s an improvement, but of course educating the population for early detection needs to strengthen. That’s our problem now and we hope in the next year we have this better cancer control programme and then we hope that it’s sustained in these five years.

Are there any government initiatives for cancer control in Indonesia?

Our government initiative to transform from cancer, stroke and also chronic kidney and cardiac, or heart disease. Cancer is one of the priorities in our country.

How will this government initiative work?

Our government already made this national network especially for the improvement of cancer services. So we are appointed as a National Cancer Center to coordinate all these 514 hospitals nationwide. So it should be standardised from the human resources and also the equipment and also make the system for referrals. That’s these last three years.

How is access to mammography screening programmes being improved in Indonesia?

Actually the access to mammography is still limited but our Minister of Health already provided some of the hospitals mammographic equipment. But, on the other hand, we have already an early detection programme and then it includes clinical breast examinations in primary healthcare. Also, in the last year, they provide also ultrasound so that means from the primary healthcare to the hospital it should be more smooth and the referral system is developed.