The development of neurology in Indonesia began with the development of neurology in Jakarta and Surabaya. The history of the Neurology Department of Faculty of Medicine Universitas Airlangga is inseparable from the development of neurology in Indonesia in general. In the early 1950s, Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Indonesia/RSCM (formerly called CBZ) was Dr. Schaafma. Faculty of Medicine at University of Indonesia (FKUI) was built in 1920 which originally was  called School tot Opleiding van Indische Artsen (STOVIA), or School for training Native Physicians. STOVIA then became University of Indonesia in 1950. In 1950, Prof.Dr. R.Slamet Iman Santoso founded the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Universiteit van Indonesie (University of Indonesia) Jakarta. As a chairman, Prof.Dr. R.Slamet Iman Santoso sent Mahar Mardjono to the United States to study neurology and Kusumanto Setionegoro to study Psychiatry. Prof. Mahar Mardjono became the first neurologist at FKUI after studying neurology in the Department of Neurology, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, under Prof. Dr. Robert Aird’s supervision. In 1961, the separation of neurology and psychiatry was recognized and accepted by FKUI. Thus, the Department of Neurology FKUI was established that year and led by Prof. DR. dr Mahar Mardjono.

The Development of Neurology in Surabaya

The Faculty of Medicine Universitas Airlangga was established in 1928, which was formerly known as Nederland Indische Artsen School (NIAS), Dutch Indies Physician School before changing its name to Universitas Airlangga in 1954. Dr. H.R.M Soejoenoes played an important role to the early development of Neuropsychiatry in Surabaya. After serving at Sumber Porong Mental Hospital, Lawang, he then served in Simpang Hospital (Oude Centrale Burgerlijke Ziekeninrichting [CBZ]) Surabaya and received only one ward. Karangmenjangan Hospital was built because the Simpang Hospital (Oude CBZ) built in 1930 was unable to accommodate more patients. In addition, NIAS also needed an educational hospital. The ceremony of laying the first brick of Nieuw CBZ (Karangmenjangan Hospital, now  Dr Soetomo Hospital) building was conducted on Saturday October 29, 1938 at 08.00.

In 1956, Prof. Dr. Heygster, a German neuropsychiatrist, served in the Neuropsychiatric Department in Surabaya. Together with dr . HRM Soejoenoes, he developed the department. Unfortunately, Prof. Heygster did not complete the term because of his death from a liver abscess.

In 1957, dr. HRM. Soejoenoes was confirmed as a professor in Neuropsychiatry. Neuropsychiatry department of RS Simpang was then moved to r. Soetomo Hospital and was placed on the west side of the hospital (currently GBPT) in 1961. The Neuropsychiatry ward was placed in its current location. The west ward is for male patients and the eastern ward is for female patients.

In the era of Prof. HRM Soejoenoes, the institution sent a number of staff to study neurology overseas. The staff included:

  • dr. Tjan Tiang Ling (Dr. B. Chandra), who was sent to the United States.
  • dr . Kwa Giok Bing (Dr. Gunawan Budiarto), who was sent to the United States to explore the issues of neurological laboratory examination.
  • the late dr. Oemijono Moestari, who studied the problem of neuro-rehabilitation.
  • the late dr . Oei Tiaw Tjong (dr.Frans Ramadja), who went to Australia to study neuro-pathology.

At that time, neuropsychiatry consisted of several units of work. The female ward was on the left of the entrance (currently Jiwa Sejahtera Ward) and the male ward was in the right of the entrance (currently Chrysanthemum A Ward). The Physiotherapy Division was near the garden (currently the hall of Administration of Education Department of Neurology). Electrophysiology (EEG) Division, with EEG Grass made in USA, was placed in what now becomes Psychology room, and the Polyclinic and Pavilion of Saraf dan Jiwa (Neurology and Psychiatry) were in the IRD (Emergency & Inpatient Installation) area currently called Seruni B Ward.

In 1973, the division of Saraf and Jiwa was separated into two: Neurology Division and PsychiatryDivision due to the development of the two disciplines. The Neurology division was led by dr. Benyamin Chandra, who was awarded a doctoral degree just after six months of his specialist graduation with a thesis entitled “The Link of Winiwarter-Buerger Disease and stroke.” The Psychiatric Division was led by dr. Triman Prasadio.

Dr. dr. B. Chandra was promoted professor in Neurology in 1978. Unfortunately, some senior staff in Neurology moved to the Netherlands because of the political atmosphere in the 1970s. These figures included dr . Kho King Hay (nerve supervisor A), dr. Liem Gwan Liong, and dr. Yap Tjwan Hoo (Dr. Sugeng Darmadipura).

The next significant development occurred in 1976 when the Physiotherapy Division, as part of Neurology Division, became the Medical Rehabilitation Unit under the leadership of dr. Oemijono Moestari, assisted by dr. Liem Sie Giok, a general practitioner. However, the division remained under the Neuropsychiatric Division. Then, Physiotherapy was developed into Medical Rehabilitation Installation and was placed in front of Dr. Soetomo Hospital. It was led by dr. Oemijono Moestari, assisted by dr. Liem Sie Giok and one of the medical residents at that time, dr. Bayu Santoso, who was finishing his residency at Neurology. Afterwards, Neurology Division continued to grow in the era of Prof. B. Chandra with the assistance of dr. Troeboes Poerwadi, who was also Head of Study Center of Neurology. At that time, Clinical Neurophysiology Division had only one timeworn EEG device so that they had to go to a paper factory in Leces to get the paper. The EEG Room was then relocated to a room previously occupied by the Physiotherapy Section, after the latter was moved to the front building and became the Medical Rehabilitation Installation/Unit.

During the construction of the front building of RSUD Dr. Soetomo, Neurology Polyclinic was placed in the third floor and named Stroke Unit, which is now called Seruni Ward. It occurred under the leadership of Prof. Dikman Angsar as Director and dr. Gratitude Abdus Sp.Bu (now Professor) as Deputy Director. The room was ‘given’ by the Children Health Unit, part of the Infectious Disease Section, after it moved to a new location. The establishment of the stroke unit was initiated from a working visit to a stroke unit at Bethesda Hospital, Yogyakarta, conducted by dr. H. Syaiful Islam, dr. Arifin Sp.Bs, Siti Rochani (a paramedic of Medical Rehabilitation Unit-Neurology Department), and Dr. Troeboes Poerwadi).


  1. Prof. Dr. B. Chandra, dr., SpS (K) Year 1973 – 1996.
  2. Prof. Dr. Aboe Amar Joesoef, dr., Sp.S (K) Year 1996 – 2007.
  3. Prof. Dr. Moh. Hasan Machfoed, dr., SpS (K) Year 2008 – 2010.
  4. Wijoto, dr., Sp.S (K). Year 2011 – 2015.
  5. Muhammad Hamdan, dr., Sp.S (K) Year 2016 – 2020.