Indonesian police probe death of Australian woman in Bali who dies after dental procedure

  • Indonesian authorities are also yet to reveal autopsy results of 25-year-old Niamh Loader, whose dental procedure was reportedly successful
  • Some netizens are calling for the inclusion of dental care in Medicare, Australia’s public-funded health insurance scheme

Indonesian police have launched a probe into the mysterious death of an Australian woman who visited Bali for dental treatment earlier this month.

Niamh Finneran Loader, a master’s student at the University of Western Australia, died on December 2 under unclear circumstances.

Indonesian authorities are also yet to reveal the results of Loader’s autopsy as her family flew to the holiday island to repatriate the 25-year-old’s body home.

© Provided by South China Morning Post
Niamh Finneran Loader. Photo: Facebook

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular help to Loader’s family.

Loader went to Bali for medical treatment that was reportedly successful.

“She was here to have minor dental treatment and was very happy with the results,” her father Malcolm Loader told The West Australian newspaper. “We have no idea [what the cause of her death was] at this stage.”

The student was due to travel to the United States in January for a scholarship from the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation.

‘We trust Singaporean doctors more’: can Bali become a medical tourism hub?

“It is with great shock and sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Mannkal Scholar Niamh Loader following a medical procedure,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the think tank as saying. “We offer our deepest sympathy to her family, friends and fellow Mannkal Scholars.”

The extended family and friends of Loader, who remembered her as a “beautiful person”, launched a fundraising campaign to support the repatriation expenses.

Netizens mourned the tragedy, saying it highlights the need to include dental treatment in Medicare, Australia’s public-funded health insurance scheme.

“I’m so shocked. This is tragic. Niamh was in some of my units at university and she was so intelligent,” wrote a Facebook user.

Sun, sea, surgery – why Asia is ramping up medical tourism efforts

Indonesia is a popular place for medical tourism. According to government figures, more than 150,000 travelled to Indonesia in 2021 to seek medical services.

Some netizens said Bali was not the place to get dental work done, drawing rebuke from others for jumping to conclusions amid an ongoing investigation into Loader’s death.

Said a user: “There hasn’t been any causal link to the dental work so far. They haven’t even completed the autopsy. Many factors could be at play … pre-existing condition who knows.”

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (, the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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