National Doctors Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: October 24, 2024

National Doctors Day in Indonesia Indonesian medical professionals celebrate their professional holiday twice a year: Indonesian Doctor Day, commonly known as National Awakening Day, is observed on May 20, and National Doctors Day falls on October 24.

The history of medical education in Indonesia goes back over a century and a half. The first Indonesian doctors received practical training at a Dutch military hospital in Jakarta in 1848. After that, the Dutch government began to establish medical schools in its Asian colonies to avoid the need to “import” high-paid medical personnel from Europe. The first of them, School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen (“School for the Training of Native Physicians”, STOVIA), was opened in 1851.

The first higher education institution that provided medical education, Geneeskundige Hoogeschool te Batavia (Medical University of Batavia), was founded on August 16, 1927. After six years of study, graduates received a diploma comparable to a Dutch medical diploma.

Today, there are more than 80 medical schools in Indonesia, both state and private. The total number of their graduates per year is about 8,000. The basic course of study in Indonesian medical school consists of 3.5 years of theoretical and 2 years of clinical training. Then graduates must complete a 1-year internship in order to become eligible to practice medicine on their own. As a rule, interns are sent to rural hospitals, although some hospitals in Jakarta have admitted interns since 2015.

According to the World Health Organization, Indonesia has 1.3 doctors per 10,000 population. Statista reports that as of 2019, there were more than 143,000 general practitioners and over 40,000 subspecialists in Indonesia, as well as over 40,000 general dentists and 4,000 specialized dentists (surgeons, orthopedists, orthodontists).

National Doctors Day (Hari Dokter Nasional) in Indonesia was established to commemorate the foundation anniversary of the Indonesian Medical Association (Ikatan Dokter Indonesia). Although the association was formally established in 1950, its history began back in 1911 when the colonial government created the Association of Indian Doctors (Vereniging van lndische Artsen).

In this case, the word “Indian” meant “from the Dutch East Indies”; the Association of Indian Doctors was a professional association of native physicians. In 1926, it was renamed the Association of Indonesian Medical Practitioners (Vereniging van lndonesische Geneeskundige).

During World War I, Indonesia was occupied by the Japanese army. The Association was disbanded; instead, the occupational authorities created a new association of medical professionals on Java. At the same time, Indonesian doctors from Yogyakarta created a professional association which they considered the rightful successor of the Association of Indonesian Medical Practitioners.

Following the end of the Indonesian National Revolution and the official recognition of Indonesia’s independence, the government of Indonesia strongly urged the two associations to unite. In 1950, 181 Indonesian doctors attended a medical congress in Jakarta, where they proclaimed the creation of the Indonesian Medical Association on October 24. Its founding anniversary has been celebrated as National Doctors Day ever since.

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National Doctors Day in Indonesia, professional holiday, holidays in Indonesia, Indonesian Medical Association