Taiwan has a comprehensive healthcare system with hospitals classified as medical centers, regional hospitals, local hospitals and basic-level medical institutes. The medical treatment at various classifications of medical institutions is also divided into Western and Traditional Chinese medicine.
Once enrolled, legal foreigners will receive equivalent medical insurance coverage as all citizens in Taiwan. There is a requirement for some foreign nationals working in Taiwan to undergo a health examination within a month of their arrival in the country at a local clinic, including an HIV test, vaccination for Japanese B encephalitis may be required before an Alien Resident Certificate is obtained to legally reside in Taiwan. All ARC holders (including dependents) are required to make monthly contributions to this National Health Insurance System and are entitled to full coverage for medical treatment. Employers and the government also make contributions for each person insured.
Important note: When an ARC expires, the holder will lose eligibility and should apply withdrawal.
Most public hospitals and large medical centers in Taiwan offer Chinese and English healthcare services. Some hospitals also have International healthcare centers that provide convenient healthcare services including interpreters to help foreign patients at a consultation session.
A high percentage of hospitals and clinics in Taiwan are privately owned, but deliver services under the National Health Insurance system. In general, healthcare in Taiwan is of a high standard, and many doctors have trained in the west and can speak English. Some major medical expenses are not covered by the insurance, but generally speaking, medical costs are relatively low in Taiwan compared to most western countries.
For minor illness, look for a general practitioner (GP) or the relating medical clinics with the NHI logo as illustrated. Each visit, you will show your NHI card upon admission with a fee of NTD200 to 250. They usually receive patients without an appointment and can immediately prescribe drugs.
Hospitals in Taiwan are well-equipped and licensed to handle different levels of emergencies. They include:
- National Taiwan University Hospital
- Mackay Memorial Hospital
- Taipei Veterans General Hospital
- Taipei Medical University Hospital
- Cathay General Hospital
- Taiwan Adventist Hospital
- Shin Kong Memorial Hospital
- Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
- Taichung Veterans General Hospital
- China Medical University Hospital
- Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital
- St. Martin De Porres Hospital
- National Chen Kung University Hospital
- Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital
- Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital
In cases where an emergency medical need occurs before your NHI IC card is obtained, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Assure that your Employer/Company has a contingency plan in place;
- Keep sufficient New Taiwan dollar cash in your home, in case a local hospital does not accept international cards or does not provide direct billing with your health insurance provider;
- Keep a list that has the hospital name of your choice, the address, the phone number, police phone number, ambulance phone number and insurance policy information;
- Have a prepared list of your family’s medical history, previous conditions, known allergies to medications, weight and blood type.