Healthcare in Taiwan

 

 

Taiwan’s healthcare design emerged as greatly desirable to its Western counterparts.

Imagine the marriage of Western and traditional Chinese medicine, equal access to healthcare, a system that promotes stiff competition among health providers, state-of-the-art patient records and the absence of queues and gatekeepers that hinder access to specialists - then you get one of the best health care systems in the world.

National Health Insurance (NHI)  

Taiwan's private healthcare and dental care is affordable. It operates on a fee-for-service basis, asking citizens to pay a minimal amount assigned by the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) for the medical treatment or service received and the rest is taken care of by the government.

Taiwan's universal healthcare system provides full coverage for a monthly fee of TW$671.52 (US$21) for unemployed citizens, TW$2,398.27 (US$75) for working parents with two children (both parents and both children are covered), self-employed for TW$1,438.96 (US$45) and average-income employees for TW$319.77 (US$10). The employer pays the remainder. On the other hand, veterans get 100% free health insurance for the rest of their lives; veterans' spouses, farmers and fishermen pay only 30% and the government pays the remaining 70%.

This universal healthcare system covers all checkups with routine medical procedures, pharmaceuticals, non-cosmetic dental care, vision and eye care, emergency medicine, 80% of ambulance costs, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, all pre-natal and childbirth care, traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, herbs and medical massages, 90% of at-home service costs, long-term hospitalization due to chronic disease (patients pay 5% for the first 30 days, then an increasing amount for the succeeding days, with a maximum out-of-pocket payment of TW$27,979.87 (US$875), regardless of duration) and all mental health care, even psychiatric medicine.

Upon receipt of a work permit and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), expats will automatically be included in the Natural Health Insurance System database. This calls for a monthly fee of TW$700 (US$21.89) for full coverage. Spouses and dependents can apply for coverage 4 months after the ARC is issued.

In order to consult a doctor or get treatment, patients must present their smart card. This credit-card sized card stores a patient's medical history and medicine intake that the doctor can review. This also allows the bill to be automatically paid in the government insurance office.

Overall, Taiwan's universal healthcare system is more than impressive. Their health philosophy encourages citizens to live an active lifestyle, indulge in water, aim for a balanced diet, enjoy the outdoors and embrace happiness. Placing a huge emphasis on the role of nutrition and disease prevention is truly a reflection of an advanced healthcare. Welcome to Taiwan, welcome to the land of peace of mind.

 

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