Besides delicious street food and talented pop singers, Taiwan is also fast gaining a reputation in Asia for providing accessible, high-quality healthcare – particularly in the realm of medical tourism.
Taiwan’s National Health Insurance system provides cheap access to medical benefits and procedures for locals and expatriates, with funding covered by compulsory premium contributions and standardised co-payments upon receiving treatment. This eliminates the need for patients to ‘shop around’ for the best treatments at the cheapest price and also helps drive down the cost for visiting medical tourists.
The country’s advanced health information network remains a cornerstone of its progressive healthcare system, connecting all hospitals and most clinics to the Bureau of National Health Insurance for e-claim purposes and facilitating the use of health ‘smart cards’ that contain patient information and medical history.
Affordable plastic surgery is a major draw in Taiwan, with the island being the only nation in Asia to receive recognition for Plastic Surgery Innovation from the Society of American Plastic Surgeons, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in plastic surgery. In 1978, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital established Southeast Asia’s first craniofacial centre and more than 30,000 patients with a cleft lip and palate have enjoyed a 100% success rate since.
Hepatic medicine is another of Taiwan’s medical specialties, with Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital performing the first live liver transplant for a child and maintaining the highest survival rate worldwide. For matters of the heart, the National Taiwan University Hospital boasts the distinction of having performed the first cardiac cryosurgery in the world and the first successful artificial heart transplant. Over 5,000 cardiac diagnostic and treatment procedures are conducted annually in the country.
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a prime destination to seek traditional Chinese medicine, advanced orthopedic surgeries and fertility treatments. In another first, the Taipei Wellness Centre and Resort was recently established in the city – a first-of-its-kind ‘medical tourism hotel’ that aims to combine cure and comfort by providing health management programmes, physical checkups, cosmetic medicine and basic consultation services.
With an engaging local culture, a comprehensive system and continuous investment and research dedicated towards cultivating cutting-edge medical technology and expertise, Taiwan continuously demonstrates its commitment towards growing its healthcare sector and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.