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Taiwan’s Public Health Insurance January 31, 2010

Posted by hslu in Health Insurance, Taiwan.
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1 comment so far

I’ve heard that many people who live in the United States have returned their residences to Taiwan because they will be eligible for Taiwan’s public health care when they retire in a few years.

I’ve objected Democrats’ push for a public option on health insurance reform. I contended that it will be the beginning of the end of US’s dominant positions on drug and medical instrument innovations. It will also seriously decrease the level of medical services for every citizen in the U. S, starting with the senior citizens of which I am rapidly becoming one. Not to mention the red tapes, rationing, and higher costs!

I am sure you’ll tell me that there are many great examples of successful public medical services in countries such as Canada, Great Britain and Taiwan.

If you still have faith in public health system, you might want to read this article on the online version of  Taiwan’s 聯合報: http://udn.com/NEWS/main.html


  1. Mrs. Chen goes up at 3 AM and rode her bike to Gao1 Xiong2’s Zhang1 Gen1 Hospital to be inline for a spot to register for an appointment with a doctor today. She was beaten by another person who was there first. She didn’t get an appointment yesterday because he got up too late.
  2. A nurse who has breast cancer tried many times at another hospital but couldn’t get an appointment. She asked her relatives to help her. With five PC’s trying all day, she finally gets the no. 1 spot after midnight, 55 days later.
  3. A female single parent who has cancer couldn’t go to the hospital until after 7 AM because she has to send her child to school in the morning. After three months without a single appointment, she cried for help at hospital’s Public Relation Office but the hospital couldn’t help her at all.
  4. Me. Lee’s cancer has been in remission for 6 years. Unfortunately it returned three months ago. Every night, he takes 6 PM train for the 40-minute trip to Gao1 Xiong2 from his hometown in Ping2 Dong1. With a small wooden bench he kept at his relative’s home in Gao1 Xiong2, he began his nightly wait at Gao1 Xioang2 University Medical Center from 10:30 PM until the registration office opens in the morning: 7 AM. He usually gets number 50 or 60 which means he won’t see the doctor until after 12 noon. Hmm, 3 (maybe 4) hours, 50 patients, we are talking about three or four minutes per patient. Efficient!
  5. Mrs. Xiao1 comes at 5 AM today. She is inline for her husband who has heart trouble. She is the 10th in line. She didn’t get an appointment yesterday because she got up too late.
  6. Online and telephone registrations are available for most if not all hospitals. They are very convenient for making an appointment with your favorite doctor if you don’t mind seeing him or her next month or 60 days later. If you want to see him today, you have to come early and get in line.
  7. By the way, VIP out patient service is available if you are willing to cough out 1,500 NT each time. That’s about $50.
  8. Health insurance premium is about to go up soon because the system is out of money now.
  9. Will you be inline when you are 78 years old with heart trouble? Do you have someone else to sit in line for you?
  10. Would you like to wait for 9 months for an MRI scan?
  11. Make sure you have your government-issued health insurance card with you ALL the time. A guy in Canada didn’t have it when he went to the emergency room with stomach ache. The staff asked him to get his card before the treatment. He didn’t make it back to the hospital.
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