KUALA LUMPUR, November 25 — Apart from promoting its pristine beaches and exotic islands, Indonesia is looking to become a hub for alternative treatment and attract more medical tourists.
From soothing an aching back to treating mental and even spiritual illnesses, the country’s traditional or unconventional healing method seems to have the answer to nearly every sort of ailment.
In a bid to boost the country’s medical tourism, Indonesia’s Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto announced recently that his country should capitalise on their “penis enlargement” massage.
Known locally as Mak Erot, the massage is believed to be an alternative treatment to enlarge a person’s manhood.
According to Vice Indonesia, Terawan has referred to Mak Erot as a national asset with high potential to attract medical tourists from abroad.
“We must popularise the idea of traditional medicine for tourism.
“We have an incredible herbal medicine industry that no one knows about outside Indonesia,” he said.
He also cited Tongkat Ali (a leaf that is said to boost athletic performance and muscle mass), Purwaceng (a Viagra-like substance), and Mak Erot as potential services to boost medical tourism.
“If we package it correctly, foreigners will be interested,” he said.
Terawan also specifically brought up Kerok, coin and ointment treatment, as a worthy attraction for medical tourism.
Known its varied benefits among the locals, Kerok is a method of treating a variety of ailments by rubbing a coin against the skin of the back with menthol ointment, which is believed to increase blood and oxygen circulation.
“Don’t underestimate kerok. If we had 100 rooms and it takes 20 minutes per person, imagine how much revenue that would generate.
“There are many other cultural gems that we have not exploited because we take them for granted, but to foreigners, it’s something intriguing,” he added.