Treatment for minor injuries and common traveller’s health problems is easily accessed in Bali. For serious conditions, you will need to leave the island.
Travellers tend to worry about contracting infectious diseases when in the tropics, but infections are a rare cause of serious illness or death in travellers. Pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, and accidental injury (especially traffic accidents) account for most life-threatening problems. Becoming ill in some way is relatively common, however; ailments you may suffer include gastro, overexposure to the sun and other typical traveller woes.It’s important to note certain precautions you should take on Bali, especially in regard to rabies, mosquito bites and the tropical sun.The advice we provide is a general guide only and does not replace the advice of a doctor trained in travel medicine.
Before You Go
Make sure all medications are packed in their original, clearly labelled containers. A signed and dated letter from your physician describing your medical conditions and medications (including generic names) is also a good idea. If you are carrying syringes or needles, be sure to have a physician’s letter documenting their medical necessity. If you have a heart condition ensure you bring a copy of an electrocardiogram taken just prior to travelling.
If you take any regular medication bring double your needs in case of loss or theft. You can buy many medications over the counter without a doctor’s prescription, but it can be difficult to find some of the newer drugs, particularly the latest antidepressant drugs, blood-pressure medications and contraceptive pills.
Specialised travel-medicine clinics are your best source of information; they stock all available vaccines and will be able to give specific recommendations for you and your trip.
Your doctor may also recommend the following:
- Tetanus Single booster
- Hepatitis A
The only vaccine required by international regulations is yellow fever. Proof of vaccination will only be required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone (primarily some parts of Africa and South America) within the six days prior to entering Southeast Asia.
Many drugs requiring a prescription in the West are available over the counter in Indonesia, including powerful antibiotics. The Kimia Farma (www.kimiafarma.co.id) chain is recommended. It has many locations, charges fair prices and has helpful staff. The Guardian chain of pharmacies has appeared in tourist areas, but the selection is small and prices can be shocking even to visitors from high-priced countries. Elsewhere you need to be more careful as fake medications and poorly stored or out-of-date drugs are common.
Even on a cloudy day, sunburn can occur rapidly, especially near the equator. Don’t end up like the dopey tourists you see roasted pink on Kuta Beach. Instead:
- Use a strong sunscreen (at least SPF 30).
- Reapply sunscreen after a swim.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Avoid baking in the sun during the hottest part of the day (10am to 2pm).
Divers and surfers should seek specialised advice before they travel to ensure their medical kit contains treatment for coral cuts and tropical ear infections, as well as the standard problems. Divers should ensure their insurance covers them for decompression illness – get specialised dive insurance if necessary.Divers should note that there is a decompression chamber in Sanur, which is a fast-boat ride from Nusa Lembongan. Getting here from north Bali can take three to four hours.
Bali is hot and humid throughout the year. It takes most people at least two weeks to adapt to the hot climate. Swelling of the feet and ankles is common, as are muscle cramps caused by excessive sweating. Prevent these by avoiding dehydration and excessive activity in the heat. Be careful to avoid the following conditions:
Heat exhaustion Symptoms include weakness, headache, irritability, nausea or vomiting, sweaty skin, a fast, weak pulse and a normal or slightly elevated body temperature. Treatment involves getting out of the heat and/or sun, fanning the victim and applying cool wet cloths to the skin, laying the victim flat with their legs raised, and rehydrating with water containing one-quarter of a teaspoon of salt per litre. Recovery is usually rapid and it is common to feel weak for some days afterwards.
Heatstroke A serious medical emergency. Symptoms come on suddenly and include weakness, nausea, a hot dry body with a body temperature of over 41°C, dizziness, confusion, loss of coordination, fits and eventually collapse and loss of consciousness. Seek urgent medical help and commence cooling by getting the person out of the heat, removing their clothes, fanning them and applying cool wet cloths or ice to their body, especially to hot spots such as the groin and armpits.
Prickly heat A common skin rash in the tropics, caused by sweat being trapped under the skin. The result is an itchy rash of tiny lumps. Treat by moving out of the heat into an air-conditioned area for a few hours and by having cool showers.
Fungal rashes There are two common fungal rashes that affect travellers. The first occurs in moist areas that get less air such as the groin, armpits and between the toes. It starts as a red patch that slowly spreads and is usually itchy. Treatment involves keeping the skin dry, avoiding chafing and using an antifungal cream such as Clotrimazole or Lamisil. Tinea versicolor is also common – this fungus causes small, light-coloured patches, most commonly on the back, chest and shoulders. Consult a doctor.
Cuts & scratches These can easily get infected in tropical climates so take meticulous care of any cuts and scratches. Immediately wash all wounds in clean water and apply antiseptic. If you develop signs of infection see a doctor. Divers and surfers should be careful with coral cuts because they become easily infected.
Bites & Stings
During your time in Indonesia, you may make some unwanted friends.
Bedbugs These don’t carry disease but their bites are very itchy. They live in the cracks of furniture and walls and then migrate to the bed at night to feed on you as you sleep. You can treat the itch with an antihistamine.
Jellyfish Most are not dangerous, just irritating. Stings can be extremely painful but rarely fatal. First aid for jellyfish stings involves pouring vinegar onto the affected area to neutralise the poison. Do not rub sand or water onto the stings. Take painkillers, and anyone who feels ill in any way after being stung should seek medical advice.
Ticks Contracted after walking in rural areas, ticks are commonly found behind the ears, on the belly and in armpits. If you have had a tick bite and experience symptoms such as a rash at the site of the bite or elsewhere, fever or muscle aches, you should see a doctor.
Tap water in Bali is never safe to drink.Widely available and cheap, bottled water is generally safe but check the seal is intact when purchasing. Look for places that allow you to refill containers, thus cutting down on landfill. Most ice in restaurants is fine if it is uniform in size and made at a central plant (standard for large cities and tourist areas). Avoid ice that is chipped off larger blocks (more common in rural areas). Avoid fresh juices outside of tourist restaurants and cafes.
There are ongoing reports of injuries and deaths among tourists and locals due to arak (the local spirits that should be distilled from palm or cane sugar) being adulterated with methanol, a poisonous form of alcohol. Although arak is a popular drink, it should be avoided outside established restaurants and cafes.
CLINIC & HOSPITAL IN BALI
BIMC Hospital – 24 Hours Medical & Emergency Centre. BIMC Hospital was officially opened on 27th July 1998 and was established to provide an excellent primary health care and emergency services for tourists, travelers and expatriates living in Bali. Click here to visit the website.
Siloam Hospital. Siloam Hospital Bali is a 104-bed hospital located on Kuta’s busy Sunset Road. Part of the chain of Siloam Hospitals located across the country, its international-standard facilities in Kuta offer a broad spectrum of medical services, which include emergency, inpatient and diagnostic services. The hospital’s emergency unit is open 24 hours a day, while daily visiting hours at the hospital are between 10:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:00. There’s also an ambulance service for trauma and medical evacuation. The area surrounding Siloam Hospital is dotted with some of the most popular hotels and resorts in Bali, making it very convenient for tourists. Jalan Sunset Road No. 818, Kuta Tel: +62 (0)361 779 900
Bali Med Hospital. With three hospital spread in 3 region of Bali, Denpasar, Negara West Bali and Karangasem East Bali. Bali Med have a international standard for medical care. Located in the busy area of Denpasar and close to Kerobokan and Canggu. Jl. Mahendradatta No.57 X, Padangsambian, Denpasar Bar., Kota Denpasar, Bali 80119. Click here to visit their website.
Bali Nusa Dua Emergency Clinic Jl Pratama No. 81, Telp. 62-361-771324
Bali Mandara Hospital . As a commitment to improve health services in Bali, the Bali Provincial Government built Bali Mandara International Hospital.The hospital is to be expected becoming the best hospital in Bali aimed to help the poor family to get the best health care can be
directed to become a medical tourism destination. Located at Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No.548, Sanur Kauh, Denpasar Sel., Kota Denpasar, Bali. Phone : (0361) 4490566
Dental Clinics :
- Dr Indra Guizot, Jl. Patimura 19, Denpasar, Tel: 62-361-222445, 62-361-234375 firstname.lastname@example.org
- DDS. Ritjie Rihartinah, Jl Pratama No. 81, Nusa Dua Tel : 62-361-771324 email@example.com
Kuta Clinic . Jl. Raya Kuta. Tel : 62-361-753268
SOS International . Opened in 1999, offers International SOS members and visitors to Bali comprehensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency medical services
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai, Denpasar, Bali – Indonesia Tel. 62-361-710505, Fax. 62-361-764530
Ubud Clinic. Jl Raya Ubud No. 36 Campuhan. Tel : 62-361-974911
Major hospitals :
- Rumah Sakit Umum Sanglah (Public Hospital), Jl. Diponegoro, Sanglah, Denpasar, Tel: 62-361-227911, 62-361-227912, 62-361-227913.
- Rumah Sakit Wongaya (Public Hospital; Psychiatric Unit), Jl. Kartini, Denpasar, Tel: 62-361-222142
- Sakit Dharma Husada, (Private) Jl. Sudirman No 50, Denpasar, Tel: 62-361-227560, 62-361-234824
- Rumah Sakit Kasih lbu (Private Hospital with special maternity unit), Jl. Teuku Umar No 120, Tel: 62-361-223036, 62-361-237016
Surya Husadha Hospital (Private) www.suryahusadha.com. Jalan Pulau Serangan 7 Denpasar – Bali, Tel: 62-361-233787, Fax: 62-361-231177 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rumah Sakit Prima Medika (Private Hospital). Jl. Pulau Sarangan, Denpasar, Tel: 62-361-236225 Fax: 62-361-236203 email@example.com