Friday, November 21, 2014

Taiwan: Nation Developing a Reputation for Reasonable and Manageable Medical Care

According to the UK-based The Telegraph, nearly seven in ten expats in Taiwan say they spend less on health care than they used to before relocating--compared with a global average of just three in 10.

Meanwhile almost two-thirds say they enjoy a higher quality of health care in Taiwan than they did at home, against a global average of less than four in 10.

Runners-up on the chart produced by HSBC depicting as “affordable and reasonable” in terms of care were the UK, Thailand, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

At the opposite end of the scale, expats in Brazil, New Zealand, Ireland and the US complained that they have to put up with expensive and poor quality health care.

The statistics form part of HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey that was completed by more than by 9,000 expats from over 100 countries through an online questionnaire in April and May 2014.

The survey report said: “The Taiwanese health care system is coveted by health care tourists around the world, but its simple rules for expats and provisions for health insurance are what distinguish it from the pack in this year’s survey.

COMMENT: “Upon relocation, all expats and their employers are required to register with the National Health Insurance system, which grants them access to medical and dental care.

“Contrary to how many expats feel about the paperwork involved with getting enrolled onto local health care systems, nearly seven in 10 expats in Taiwan agree that organizing health insurance is relatively easy compared to a global average of 55% who said the same.”

According to the below link, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), that roughly 120,000 Britons travel to Taiwan annually and about 3,000 Britons live and work there. The population of the island is around 23 million:

The FCO states in its guide to the country:

“As is to be expected of a nation as developed as Taiwan, health care facilities and medical equipment are of outstanding quality. Since 1995, Taiwan has had a socialized health care plan, the National Health Insurance (NHI) which covers nearly all citizens.”

According to the international expat forum, the NHI premium is 4.91% of gross earnings. The employee pays 30% and the rest is contributed by the employer and by governmental subsidies. 

Those who travel to the country on a short-term basis can expect to pay in cash for any medical services they need.

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