Information for Patients
All hospitals are accredited by the Taiwan Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation, which is supervised by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. They are classified into three levels according to their healthcare quality, medical teaching ability, clinical capabilities, and hospital bed capacity. Those three levels of classification consist of medical centers, regional hospitals, and local community hospitals.
The National Health Insurance is a single-payer compulsory social insurance plan that centralizes the disbursement of healthcare funds. It promises equal access to health care for all citizens, and the population coverage had reached 99% by the end of 2004. Over 92% of clinics and hospitals are contracted to NHI. NHI is mainly financed through premiums (paid by the insured, employers and the government and calculated based on wages and supplementary incomes like bonuses and stock dividends) and is supplemented with out-of-pocket payments and direct government funding. NHI benefits are uniform and comprehensive, with all medically necessary services covered, and patents face few limits on their choice of healthcare provider or doctor, as there is no gatekeeper referral system. National health expenditure represented 6.3% of GDP in 2016, which is low by OECD standards, with the NHI accounting for the majority of spending at 53%, followed by household out-of-pocket expenditure 34%.
How it actually works: Each NHI user holds a NHI card that contains the user’s medical data. A swipe of the card gives the doctor instant access to real-time medical records. Patients only have to pay a modest out-of-pocket fee ranging from NT$80 to NT$360 per consultation, they can also go directly to specialty care without a referral.
Information for Health Care Professionals
According to the Physician Act, citizens of Taiwan having passed a physician exam and holding a physician license in accordance with the law may work as a physician. Anyone with an international educational record participating in the examination from countries or areas outside of the USA, Japan, Europe, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore or Hong Kong must have their educational records approved by the Ministry of Education before they may participate in the examination. The professional situation for anyone qualified for multiple medical professions such as physician, doctor of Chinese medicine or dentist shall be determined by the competent central authority.
Anyone who passes the Physician Examination may apply for a Physician Certificate. Physicians may apply for a Diplomate Certificate upon completion of Diplomate training and examination by the competent central authority. The language of instruction is Chinese .
Popular fields of medicine are:
• Cardiovascular surgery
• Joint replacement
• Artificial reproduction
• Cancer treatment
• Robotic surgery
• Liver transplantation
• Craniofacial reconstruction
• Health screening
• Cosmetic surgery
Information for Travelers
Taiwan’s healthcare system is among the best in South-East Asian Region if not the whole Asian area. Its major target regions are Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong, Macau and other cities in China. However, medical tourism in Taiwan is yet to extend to non-Asian countries. Common languages spoken in hospitals and health care faciclities are Chinese (Mandarin, Taiwanese) and English (To a very limited extent).
Health crises: Dengue, Measles
Ministry of health website: