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Prodia | Drs. Andi Wijaya
Drs. Andi Wijaya

The opening of new hospitals all over the country, particularly in the east of Indonesia, will create huge demand for medical services such as clinics for testing

Drs. Andi Wijaya, Founder & Chairman

As the leading laboratory and clinic in the country, Prodia has firmly established itself as a key player in Indonesia’s healthcare services sector. What can you tell us about your company’s background and its strategies going forward?

Our business was founded in 1973 in Solo, as at that time my colleague and I were working at Atma Jaya University in order to gain our medical certification. My area of focus is in pharmaceuticals and clinical laboratory chemistry, and I first recognised the need for more comprehensive clinical services in Indonesia after once having had my blood taken in a hospital and being told that I was blood Type O, despite the fact that I am actually Type B. To address the shortcomings of the healthcare industry, we began our own lab with the vision of providing excellent quality service to all of Indonesia.

Quality has been the main aim since the beginning and our tagline is ‘love for quality’. We obtained all the necessary certifications from the Indonesian government as well as from organisations abroad such as the College of American Pathologists and we are the only clinic in Indonesia to have this accreditation. Our operations have expanded to include that of our sister company, CRO, which conducts clinical trials for pharmaceuticals which it carries out for multinational companies such as Quintiles.

We are now the leader for clinical research and laboratory testing. Prodia has also established MOUs with all the leading universities throughout Indonesia for joint research to enable doctors to carry out research as most universities do not offer research facilities. We work in all areas of speciality medicine and we also work on research with medical students. Through our collaboration with universities we thus develop close ties with the doctors who become our clients as well. At the moment we are expanding into the east of Indonesia in areas such as Papua but we are finding it challenging to find human resources who are willing to work at a laboratory in these areas.

What are your views on the current consumer perception of Indonesia’s medical sector? In particular, how can Indonesia dispel the notion that its healthcare industry is not of the same standard as its regional counterparts?

Indonesian doctors are just as well trained as doctors from Singapore or Malaysia. Indonesia's middle to upper class tends to believe that they can get better healthcare abroad but they need to realise that foreign students from Singapore and Malaysia actually often study medicine in Indonesia. The issue here is the lower quality facilities and auxiliary paramedic staff. They are not well paid and do not take responsibility for their patients so this is where efforts need to be concentrated on to improve healthcare in Indonesia.

Indonesia is also going to face challenges with the introduction of the universal social security system. In Jakarta they tried to implement free healthcare and it has been very unsuccessful and one of the issues is how the costs are reimbursed for laboratory testing. Tests have to be carried out for various types of viruses for example but the government only reimburses for the test that is returned positive so many laboratories and hospitals withdrew from the system. 2014 will therefore be a very turbulent year in the healthcare sector in Indonesia.

Does Prodia plan to introduce new products in the near future? Is your company open to working with foreign partners to pursue further innovation and advance the healthcare industry?

The new trend in medicine is in personalised medicine so that people can be treated specifically to their genetics. Our laboratories have thus carried out extensive research in this field and uncovered several findings that will have a significant bearing upon the type of products and treatments we make available in the future. Our research into nicotine for example has shown that addiction is dependent on a person’s metabolism and so this can determine how you treat each individual patient.

Within the group we have established links with international companies for joint research in areas such as stem cell research. Stem cell research is moving very quickly with thousands of publications every month on the subject. We have already begun working with Medipost of Korea to use stem cells to create replacement cartilage for knees called Cartistem. We are also carrying out our own research and are interested in working with new partners for stem cell research in other areas.

We are also going to begin manufacturing our own medical equipment for primary care as there will be increased demand for these types of products in Indonesia. We are working with a German partner for the technology and we will do the assembly in Indonesia at our facility in Cikarang. Lippo Group is planning on opening 1,000 hospitals and the government is opening many Puskesmas which will need these types of medical instruments.

What would you like our readers to remember about Indonesia as a final message?

There are still plenty of opportunities in the medical sector in Indonesia in clinical laboratories, stem cell testing and many more areas. The opening of new hospitals all over the country, particularly in the east of Indonesia, will create huge demand for medical services such as clinics for testing.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2014

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