Liza H., a successful professional from Manila, and her husband, had been trying to conceive a child of their own for more than five years. They tried various infertility treatments in the Philippines, including one course of in vitro fertilization (IVF), but none proved successful.
From a close friend, Liza learned about the Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Center at National Taiwan University Hospital. She was informed that NTUH had a high success rate in IVF and its fees were lower than many other clinics in Asia. Through the NTUH website, Liza contacted one of the hospital's IVF doctors, who gave her preliminary information about IVF treatment. Via email, he explained the procedures of ovary stimulation, oocyte retrieval, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and implantation of sustainable embryos.
Since Liza did not speak, read, or write Mandarin Chinese and had never before visited Taiwan, she was referred to the hospital's International Medical Services Center. An English-speaking nurse practitioner at the center reached Liza via email and grew to know her well, eventually accompanying Liza through a series of consultations, examinations, and laboratory tests at NTUH. The center's staff helped Liza find a suitable hotel and helped arrange for her husband to travel to Taiwan.
During the course of Liza's treatment, the center's staff showed her Taiwan's famous night markets, shopping centers and other tourist attractions. She was also accompanied to a Catholic church that had a parish priest from her home country. "I was surprised at the extra efforts the staff extended to me," said Liza. "I emailed them often to express my gratitude."
After implantation of fertilized eggs, Liza and her husband returned home to The Philippines. Several weeks later, Liza happily informed the center's staff that she was pregnant with twins. The entire IVF treatment cost the couple around US$4000.
"I had an outstanding experience," said Liza. "The service was efficient and well worth the money now that my dream has come true."
Last updated on 5 December 2016
Before Leaving the Hospital: Get All the Paperwork
Impatient to be gone, and often suffering the woozy side effects of surgery and post-operative pharmaceuticals, patients too often find themselves back at home later, missing important documents that could have more easily been obtained on site. So before you hightail it out of your hospital or clinic, be sure that you have all of your important documents.
Generally, larger hospitals provide complete medical documentation as part of the standard exit procedure. However, some smaller clinics may rely more on verbal instructions, and they are less likely to build and maintain a dossier on your case.