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Health in the Making

Taiwan Review, 1 juni 2011

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In 2010, a young Romanian woman came to Taiwan for the first of a number of reconstructive surgeries to restore her chin and teeth, which had been smashed in a car accident. Surgical operations in her home country had been unsuccessful, but after three rounds of surgery at Taipei’s Chang Gung Memorial Hospital spanning about one year, the young woman not only regained something of her former appearance, but could chew and eat solid foods once again. If the initial injuries she sustained in the car accident changed her life, the expertise of the Taiwanese medical team that performed the surgeries changed it once more, this time for the better.

Chang Gung Mem­orial Hospital is among Taiwan’s advanced medical facilities that have developed a reputation for excellence worldwide. In fact, Taiwanese hospitals rank among the most successful in a number of fields including living donor liver transplants, reconstructive surgery and neurosurgery, for example. The government has taken note of such achievements and has been promoting the island’s healthcare sector to medical travelers seeking treatment for serious or chronic conditions. As a result, the Cabinet-level Department of Health commissioned the establishment of the Taiwan Task Force for Medical Travel in 2008 to integrate medical, government and tourism resources to position the island as an attractive destination for medical travel. Today, travelers from around the world come for the high quality as well as the low cost of services—on average around one-fifth that of treatment in the United States, according to some experts.

Advanced health examination equipment and techniques, plus affordability are also drawing medical tourists to Taiwan. A number of hospitals are catering to such visitors, who seek to combine ordinary tourism with minor medical procedures or health checks. One obvious target for such services is mainland Chinese tourists given the opening of travel across the Taiwan Strait as well as the shared language and culture of people on the two sides.

The development of medical travel and tourism in Taiwan is a testament to the internationalization of the island’s healthcare. Medical education in Taiwan now includes world-class learning programs. Where doctors previously sought training abroad, today it is local staff who give instruction at home and overseas. Chang Gung hospital has trained more than 1,000 doctors from some 10 countries, for example. Meanwhile, medical staff from Taiwan are actively recruited by hospitals in Singapore and mainland China, among other countries. At the same time, a number of hospitals boast some of the most advanced medical facilities in the region, or the world, for that matter.

Taiwan’s healthcare system also features one of the oldest forms of treatment in the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Currently, efforts are being made to integrate TCM with Western medicine and to standardize traditional medicinal materials with those in mainland China. In fact, acceptance of TCM treatments such as acupuncture is so widespread in Taiwan that it is covered by the National Health Insurance (NHI) system.

The NHI system is yet another achievement, given that it ensures the provision of healthcare for some 99 percent of Taiwan’s population. Although it is not without its challenges, the NHI has nonetheless been touted as a model of success internationally, including in the healthcare reform debate in the United States between 2009 and 2010.

The incorporation of Taiwan into the enforcement mechanism of the International Health Regulations since 2009 and its participation in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 conferences of the World Health Assembly have enabled the island to stay abreast of the latest developments in public health. Not only has this safeguarded the health of the local population, it has also given Taiwan more opportunities to share its medical achievements with the world.


  • Ekonomi, finans


  • national health insurance
  • sjukförsäkring
  • traditionell kinesisk medicin
  • tcm
  • neurovetenskap
  • taiwansundet
  • chang gung mem­orial hospital
  • rumänien
  • wha
  • who
  • världshälsoförsamlingen
  • läkarvård
  • sjukhus
  • vård
  • rehablitering
  • sjukvård
  • medicinsk forskning
  • plastikkirurgi
  • världshälsoorganisationen
  • kina
  • ecfa
  • asien
  • taiwan


Lin Engdahl

Presskontakt Informationsassistent 08 - 32 56 50

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