IN THE past few years, as medical travel has emerged as a major trend worldwide, Taiwan has begun to actively promote medical tourism.
In 2007, the Taiwan Task Force on Medical Travel was established to advance Taiwan’s affordable high-tech healthcare services. Taiwan has six major advantages over other countries in the world: high quality, affordability, high-tech facilities, sincere care, comprehensiveness of medical care and abundant professional medical teams.
Taiwan’s medical care system is well known for its quality at home and abroad. An accreditation system ensures that every hospital maintains excellence in personnel, facilities, instruments and services, as well as reinforces compliance with safety standards.
Because hospitals with more accreditation receive greater subsides, all hospitals in Taiwan strive to obtain the highest level of accreditation possible.
Taiwan’s medical institutions can provide patients with high-quality medical care services at prices competitive with prices in other countries. Generally, surgical fees in Taiwan are about one-fifth to one-sixth of those in the United States and the United Kingdom. For example, liver transplants in Taiwan cost about $88,000 – about 29 percent of the price charged in the United States and 50 percent of those in Singapore. Coronary artery bypass graft surgeries in Taiwan cost only about one-fifth of those undertaken in U.S. hospitals. Hip joint replacements are about $5,900 – about 17 percent of those in the U.S., 22 percent in the UK, 59 percent in Singapore, and 50 percent in Thailand.
Taiwan’s medical care not only focuses on serious diseases, but also provides affordable health screenings and testing, such as general physicals, cancer PET exams, coronary artery exams and cranial/spinal exams. In Taiwan, the cost of an executive physical – which includes a panendoscopy, colonfiberscopy and cancer screen – is only 17 percent of what it would cost in the United States.
Last but not least, Taiwan also provides other healthcare treatments like dental implants, excimer laser surgery and assisted reproduction. Most fees are 50 to 80 percent less than the average price in the U.S.
Taiwanese hospitals have access to state-of-the-art equipment, such as 3D computed tomography, MRIs and PETs for cancer screening, Ar-He cryoablation and cyber-knives for tumor treatment and image-guided radiation cancer therapy.
The quality of the equipment typically meets or exceeds the standards used in U.S. hospitals. According to a recent report by TFMT, there were a total of 33 PET scanners, 115 MRI scanners and 321 CT scanners in active operation across Taiwan.
Professionalism and teamwork
Professional medical teams eagerly tend to their patients in Taiwan, which ranks as the second healthiest country in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The EIU uses 13 indexes to evaluate the healthcare provided in 27 countries in the world. Taiwan’s high rating stems from its abundant medical resources. On average, there are a total of 22.2 doctors and 56.3 beds, with the occupation rate only 70 percent, for each 10,000 people. Taiwan’s medical teams have made numerous outstanding achievements in the world. Chin-Gung Memorial Hospital, for instance, performed the first live liver transplant in a child.
As a native of Taiwan, I am biased – it would be the only place other than the mainland U.S. I would go for intricate/complex medical care. For your next medical trip, please think of Taiwan. Your insurance may be able to help you cover expenses related to care in Taiwan. Please ask your insurance agent for more information.