Healthcare in Taipei

Expats will find that healthcare in Taipei is generally regarded as meeting high standards, both as far as the public and the private sector are concerned.

healthcare in taipeiMedical facilities are top-notch and the majority of doctors speak English, though their proficiency ranges.

As a result of the country's economic expansion over the course of the last three decades, the government has made efforts to improve national infrastructure and to offer civic services that work to make Taiwan a viable international business destination. In line with these efforts, in 1995 the Universal Health Insurance (NHI) program was created and made available to all citizens.

Public healthcare in Taipei (NHI)

It is mandatory that expats who reside in Taiwan for more than four months or who hold an Alien Resident Card (ARC) join the NHI. However, it is still recommended that private health insurance of some sort is obtained.

The NHI is funded by employee taxes and government subsidies, but there still remains co-payments and some instances of limited coverage for certain types of treatment under the government scheme. If expats fall victim to an intensive illness, the capped coverage provided by the NHI may not cover the total cost of your medical expenses. For this reason, it may be a good idea to take additional private insurance.

Those with a steady job must enroll in the NHI on their first day at work, while dependants, students or self-employed residents will need to register themselves at a hospital within four months of getting their residence status. This process is straightforward - expats can consult the Department of Health's website for more information.

Once enrolled in the NHI programme, expats are issued a Health Insurance Card, which must be presented to primary care facilities or doctors in order to receive benefits. Expats should note that medical facilities serving the NHI are operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. As a result, doctors are often required to see large numbers of patients in small amounts of time. Furthermore, as the NHI works according to a fee-for-service programme, doctors have been known to over prescribe in order to boost their incomes.

Private healthcare in Taipei

healthcare in taipeiMost of the medical facilities in Taiwan are private, and expensive at that. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that expats organise either a local private health insurance provider or comprehensive international expatriate insurance.

Private facilities afford both more choice and less waiting time than the public facilities associated with the NHI.

Furthermore, in Taipei there are a number of Special Clinics that have been set up to cater to the English-speaking community. Doctors in these clinics are more accessible and generally have a greater cultural understanding of Western medicine. What's more, expats will find they receive a bill translated into English, and if need be, they will be referred to the most able doctors in a larger hospital setting.
Recommended healthcare facilities in Taipei that cater for expats include:
  • Taiwan Adventist hospital
  • Mackay Memorial Hospital
  • Wang Fang Hospital
  • The National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH)

Emergency care in Taipei

Expats should dial 1-1-9 in the case of an emergency in Taipei. However, don't be surprised if the ambulance dispatcher speaks very little English.

It is also important to be aware of emergency evacuation procedures in the case of an earthquake or typhoon - both of which occur from time to time in Taiwan.

Expats who rely on a specific brand of Western medication should bring an adequate supply with them to the country. In some cases it can be difficult to find the exact medicine you usually take, but there are almost always suitable local alternatives.

Hospitals in Taipei

Taiwan Adventist Hospital
(03) 2771 8151
Veterans General Hospital
(03) 2875 7346
Cathay General Hospital
(03) 2708 2121
National Taiwan University Hospital
(03) 2312 3456
Mackay Hospital
(03) 2543 3535
Air Force Hospital
(Tri-Service General Hospital)
(03) 2764 2151
(03) 2713 5211

Alternative Medicine

Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine
(03) 2388 7088

Useful links

Taiwan Department of Health

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