One of the original Four Asia Tigers, Taiwan has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 50 years to become a fully modernized, industrialized nation and a top player in the global economy. Situated on the southeast of the Asian continent, Taiwan is in the center of the East-Asian island arc, bordering Japan to the north and the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Vietnam to the south. This central location makes Taiwan a well-traveled regional tourism and healthcare hub, linking the Pacific Ocean, East China Sea, and South China Sea.
Taiwan’s beautiful and wild mountainous region on the east side of the island provides an array of luxury recovery accommodations, vacation attractions, sightseeing opportunities—and increasingly—healthcare options.
Listed as "One of the top 10 best countries to visit" by travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet, Taiwan is a top tourism destination offering a rich culture, beautiful natural landscapes, robust economy, and established tourism infrastructure.
In 2014, Taiwan welcomed more than nine million tourists, including nearly three million visitors from Mainland China. Western culture and art thrive here—from baseball to billiards and karaoke. Taiwanese film director Ang Lee brought us The Life of Pi and produced the Oscar winners Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain.
Although suffering from pollution and traffic snarls, Taiwan’s principal cities are modern, friendly, and safe, with bullet trains connecting the island’s major industrial and population centers.
Taiwan Healthcare and Medical Tourism
Taiwan applies some of the world’s highest healthcare standards, So much so that Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman praised Taiwan's healthcare and national health insurance as among the best in the world.
Dozens of newly-constructed hospitals and clinics dot the densely-populated landscape, mostly in or near Taipei, its capital. As of 2017, 17 medical facilities JCI-accredited (including hospitals, ambulatory and clinical care facilities).
While medical travelers from nearby China and Japan are major markets, centralized efforts have long been aimed at westernizing Taiwan’s health centers and promoting medical tourism from the US, UK, Australia and other English-speaking nations.
Mainland Chinese travelers visiting Taiwan for a health screening, cosmetic procedure, or medical treatment will benefit from a shared language and cultural background. Visiting patients receive high quality care comparable with Western countries while enjoying much shorter travel times and more reasonable prices. Since 2007, Taiwan has also welcomed thousands of medical travelers from Hong Kong, Macao Singapore and patients from the gredat Chinese diaspora.
While US healthcare languishes in an expensive, often counterproductive “heal the sick” mindset, Taiwan’s focus is clearly preventive. Comprehensive healthcare screenings abound, and Taiwan’s close cultural ties to China have produced a wealth of alternative and complementary therapies and procedures.
Still, for the English-speaking patient, language and cultural barriers make the medical travel journey more challenging than counterparts in Southeast Asia. When English can be found, customer service is excellent, at times over-the-top. One example is Chang Bing Show Chwan Health Care Center Park, which boasts a modern art gallery, a children’s museum, and a 200-seat movie theater for patients.
Taiwan’s specialties include cardiology, orthopedics, weight-loss surgery, neurosciences, cosmetic medicine and fertility treatments. Costs savings are generally on par with Thailand and Mexico —with savings of 50–60 percent over comparable care in countries such as the US and Australia.
If you speak the language, you may wish to read the revised and updated Simplified Chinese translation of Patients Beyond Borders: Taiwan, Second Edition.
Last updated on 12 December 2016