Skip to Content

Bali Tourists Raise Concerns Over Medical Care Standards 

Share The Article

Bali tourists are calling on fellow travelers to be aware of the level of care sometimes given to foreigners in hospitals.

The calls come after an Australian tourist has shared the details of her ‘horrific’ ordeal in a Bali hospital this month.

Hospital Ward.jpg

Whether in good health or managing existing medical conditions, it is essential for all tourists, travelers, digital nomads, and expats in Bali to have fully comprehensive health, medical, and travel insurance, including substantial emergency cover.

In all too many cases, tourists in Bali end up in hospital after an unexpected medical emergency and have been left with staggering medical bills that they are unable to pay and are unable to call on a medical insurance provider because they selected the wrong policy cover or lose still, didn’t take out a policy at all. 

An Australian mother on vacation in Bali with her young son and partner was rushed to hospital earlier this month as a dream holiday turned into a nightmare. 29-year-old Kayla Heagney from Newcastle was rushed to hospital in Bali after experiencing ‘agonizing’ pain in her abdomen. 

Heagney reports that her partner, Nicola Fox, 30, was left fighting with their insurance provider to cover the rapidly rising medical bills as she lay in a hospital bed with medical staff ‘barely’ keeping her alive. 

After arriving at the hospital, Heagney was quickly taken into the intensive care unit. She told reporters, “The doctor told me there was something seriously wrong with my pancreas. I needed a procedure done immediately, and if I didn’t, then the worst outcome would happen.” The couple paid an upfront medical bill of $500 to secure initial treatment. 

Heangey has described her ordeal to reporters as ‘inhumane’ and has described how she and her parent felt that they were doing the ‘bare minimum’ to keep her alive.

He described how she was fitted with a feeding tube against her consent and gave her medication without explaining what was going on. 

Fox told reporters, “They pinned her down on the bed, so she was vomiting everywhere. Vomit was coming out of her nose, through the tube, it was coming out of her mount.”

She added, “The doctor and nurse just threw paper towels at me and left. I had to clean the vomit off her chest.”

All the while, Fox was in communication with their insurance provider, trying to secure a payout for the medical bill that was quickly amounting to $5,000. 


Heagney explained, “I was so desperate to get back and get the help I needed here in Australia. So I just used all my strength to hold it together.”

Once back in Australia, after a 6-hour flight and 2-hour drive home from the airport, Heagney was able to seek medical attention once again.

Doctors in Australia confirmed that a huge amount of the treatment she was given in Bali was unnecessary and that essential hydration protocols were not followed for her diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. 


Fox told reporters, “What we experienced in the hospital is definitely not a reflection of the Bali that we know and love… our whole aim is to educate others. I think it’s just really making sure that you are so stringent with insurance.”

“I thought that buying a comprehensive cover was enough. We were fortunate that we did have a little bit of money to fall back on, but that money quickly ran out… get the right cover.”

This is not the first time that tourists have spoken to the media about horror stories experienced in Bali hospitals. That being said, in many more cases, tourists, travelers and expats in Bali praise the lifesaving treatment given at many Bali hospitals during emergency situations. 


As the Bali International Hospital in Sanur prepares to open its doors later this year, Bali is seeking to level up its medical tourism sector.

While medical tourism typically refers to elective and pre-palled medical treatments, the Bali International Hospital will have an ICU unit for the most serious of medical situations for privately paying patients. 

Remove All Ads & Unlock All Articles… Sign up for The Bali Sun Premium

Plan Your Bali Holiday:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
Book Cheap Flights To Bali
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance That Covers Medical Expenses In Bali

For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community


Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.


Saturday 15th of June 2024

My daughter came home with wrist pain after playing basketball.

Took her to a hospital in Bali that did not do a physical examination, only x-ray. No treatment plan devised apart from ice.

She did not improve so I took her to Gleneagles in Singapore and after MRI and proper physical examination it was concluded tfcc tear that would need surgery to gain most of the strength back.

So there is the problem, money wasted but most importantly time was wasted with Bali hospital in this case as natural recovery only work if accurate diagnosis and treatment plan done immediately.


Monday 17th of June 2024


'Let's have a look' - an xray, is sensible. Unfortunately they rarely detect TFCC.

Initial ice and rest treatment is correct, with the proviso you have further investigation if the problem persists. This as you say is a MRI.

BIMC, Balimed, Siloam and Kasih Ibu have MRI machines.

I've had 2 knee and a hip replacement. The initial MRI diagnostics were done here. The results were accepted for the ops in Australia. Why Oz not here which I would have preferred? It was free. My local insurance wouldn't cover it.

You didn't have to go to Singapore, you, not the hospital, wasted your time.

Repair work? I've friends who've had hip replacements. Plates on bone breakages (my son 4 plates in his foot after a bike accident). Others in this post who are all pleased with the result.

Mr Bear Snr

Friday 14th of June 2024

How about having you wife's calf muscle and Sural nerve severed by a kid on a Vario while you are parked on the side of an empty street. Then being told emergency op was needed but travel insurance could take 3-4 days for approval. We paid $12,000 up front, reimbursed later. Upon our return to Perth we saw an orthopedic specialist who re examined her to find 2 broken ankles and a fractured right foot. The Xrays from Bali were for a 60 year old male, not my wife. Talk about Incompetent Healthcare in Bali.


Friday 14th of June 2024

Not surprised, if at all possible, transfer to Singapore immediately. My sister in law had a small lump on one of here breasts and the surgeon in Denpasar totally botched the operation and she finally went to Spore to correct it. DO NOT TRUST BALINESE DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS!!!

Salee Krishna

Friday 14th of June 2024

When i read in Bali sun how much a tourist pay for an anti rabbi treatment , it is a shocking and a horror of how private hospital in Bali ask for a treatment. They only want to make much money from tourists specially from Europe or from the west because they think that tourist have an insurance that pay, actually they stealing your money and more shocking that the government do nothing to protect tourist from this mafia policy because no any Indonesian pay this big amount of money. For example for a rabbi treatment in Europe for 2 injections each is not more than a 100 Euro, this means 200 euro and you need to take it one after one and not together in the same time. Then if you have no tetanus injection for more than 10 years then you need one and it cost not more than 25 Euro, all together it will cost you not more than 225 Euro. Now i read in Bali Sun a few days back that an Australian women paid about 4000 Euro for an anti rabbi medicines. My advise is: do not go to any private hospital in Bali, they will steal your money, better fly if you can to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur much beter. And if you go you need to ask for every thing they give to you and know first how much it cost for every medicine before you take or ask you doctor first in your country.

Salee Krishna

Sunday 16th of June 2024

@Exp, Yes my dear, this is true but the things which it can make complicated is the bite of the dogs and how deep the wond is. For a normal bite without big wond and for the first time you need to have a four injections and if you already got the 4 injections before and have been beaten again with suspiciën dog then you nee only to take a two injections. The problem is if you got a big and deep wound with a lot of bloods then you need to have an injection with antistof and this injections is mostly not available in many hospital in Bali and it is very costly in Europe and it cost about 1500 euro. Most of the tourists does not know this and they does not know what kind of injection they get and how much because of the lake of information.


Saturday 15th of June 2024

@Salee Krishna, That’s utter BULLSHEET. Let’s see if health care in India is any better. You may be an immigrant in the West with a sense of superiority.


Saturday 15th of June 2024

@Salee Krishna, The leverage they have in Bali is likely a shortage of PEP injections (price collusion) and the fact that treatment must start immediately. Should only go to KL or Bangkok if confirm beforehand that rabies PEP injections are actually available to foreign visitor. Maybe Singapore can be added to list of alternative destinations for PEP.


Thursday 13th of June 2024

I have been in emergency at the Bali international medical centre and could not fault it. You still have to pay then sort out with your travel insurance.